Twitch, the streaming platform infamous for toxic comments, hate mobs, and even the occasional SWAT attack, have finally taken action against some bad actors in the community. In a lawsuit filed this week, the platform has identified two individuals they say has been behind many of the ‘hate raids’ its streamers have suffered. The lawsuit mentions the users only by their account names, “Cruzzcontrol” and “CreatineOverdose.” The complaint explains that the two have continuously violated Twitch’s terms of service by “targeting black and LGBTQIA+ streamers with racist, homophobic, sexist and other harassing content.”
These ‘hate raids’ have been a problem for the platform since early August. Although bigoted behaviour has always been an issue on Twitch, especially towards people of colour and LGBTQIA+ streamers, these raids have constituted dozens of bots spamming the chat with hateful and bigoted messages. Since the messages are coming from bots, it becomes incredibly difficult to block them all and often the streamer has no recourse but to stop the stream. LGBTQIA+ creators quickly asked Twitch to step in to prevent the raids under the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter, with many creators sharing the masses of awful messages flooding their chatroom.
We’ve seen a lot of conversation about botting, hate raids, and other forms of harassment targeting marginalized creators. You’re asking us to do better, and we know we need to do more to address these issues. That includes an open and ongoing dialogue about creator safety.
— Twitch (@Twitch) August 11, 2021
Twitch says that it has attempted to resolve these raids by banning thousands of bot accounts in the past month and creating new chat filters. But in the end it felt it had no choice but to go through the legal system, as according to a spokesperson, “The malicious actors involved have been highly motivated in breaking our Terms of Service, creating new waves of fake bot accounts designed to harass creators even as we continually update our sitewide protections against their rapidly evolving behaviours.”
The lawsuit explains that the users had evaded Twitch’s efforts to ban them by “creating new, alternate Twitch accounts, and continually altering their self-described ‘hate raid code’ to avoid detection and suspension by Twitch.” It’s asking the US Federal Court for a jury trial for the users’ alleged breach of contract, contract fraud, and the damage caused to Twitch’s business.