Any time you have an open online platform, it is subject to trolls who want to ruin the experience for others. Hate raids on Twitch have seen a recent upsurge, prompting content creators to organize a boycott to get Amazon to do something about it.
Twitch streamers have recently come together on social media under the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter to let the Amazon-owed company know that it is not doing a good enough job to stem hate raids. To better get the company’s attention, they have organized a boycott for next week, where they will all take a day off from Twitch.
Twitch has long had a raid feature where streamers can send their audience to another channel as they are ending their broadcast. It is usually a welcomed surprise for content creators as they watch their channel get flooded with new viewers. It also brings subscribers and followers, which is good for their revenue.
Lately, trolls have been using bot accounts to raid streamers, posting harassing messages. The Washington Post reports that the trolls primarily target marginalized creators who use tags related to gender, sexual orientation, race, disabilities, or others.
Channel moderators and creators have some tools at their disposal, such as banning users from chat. However, when there are hundreds of accounts spewing hate, it can be pretty overwhelming. Additionally, there are no restrictions on account creation so generating a new ID to get back into the fray is generally pretty easy.
After the #TwitchDoBetter rally, the company did make some efforts to curb the bad behavior by implementing better chat filters. However, as one user pointed out, they are far less than foolproof (tweet above). Twitch also announced that it would be rolling out detection algorithms to check for “channel-level ban evasion.” However, it did not have a timeframe for when such a feature would be ready.
Kotaku notes, Amazon currently takes 50 percent of streamers’ subscription revenue. Content creators feel that the company is taking a large sum of the money generated by their work but doing virtually nothing to stop or provide tools for combating the trolls. So they are attempting to create a 24-hour blackout on Twitch next week under the hashtag #ADayOffTwitch. Boycott organizers are urging fellow streamers to stop streaming for one day starting September 1. They are also asking viewers not to watch streams or log in to chat.