‘Hate raids’ have been increasing on Twitch as of late for marginalised streamers, with a hashtag aimed at the platform (#TwitchDoBetter) trending on Twitter as a result.
These raids are frequently done by follow bots, where hundreds will follow a streamer in a matter of seconds, calling them offensive names and sending abusive messages.
Not only is the streamer’s chat flooded with hate, they’re often forced to end their stream and then remove all the bots from their follower count.
This is exactly what happened to drag streamer Eevolicious recently.
If anyone is curious on how this works, it works as a follow bot (hundreds of accounts follow you in under 1 or 2 seconds) but this time with a nasty message from every one of those bots accounts. Mine had a p*rn video and a transphobic message.
— Eevo (@Eevolicious) August 10, 2021
“I was having quite a fun stream and playing some Dead by Daylight until I got follow botted by hundreds of bot accounts. This event was one of the many ‘hate raids’ that have been talked about,” Eevo told Pink News.
In this particular instance, Eevo’s stream was followed by hundreds of accounts dropping a vile transphobic message – and a porn video.
“To be honest it was quite overwhelming. I was a bit lost and couldn’t think of solutions right off the bat,” says Eevo, who thankfully has a solid moderation team who immediately activated sub-only mode.
Having more steps to creating an account could help alleviate the issue of follow bots, as well as trolls overall. One suggestion is even to have Two Factor Authentication to allow viewers in chat.
“I’m just a creator expressing my discontent with how we always feel like a second thought or a token on this platform,” says Eevo. “We want to be treated with respect and dignity. Through all these years we were always the ones to stand up for our needs, be it for one LGBTQIA2+ tag or 250+ tags, be it for Pride events, diversity or inclusion.
“I just want to be proud of streaming on this platform and feel like I’m welcome in here. I don’t want to be a martyr anymore, I want to be celebrated for the positive things we all bring to everyone’s lives out there, not a drama episode of how hard our life is.”
Hate raids are a problem across Twitch
Eevo isn’t alone, though. With #TwitchDoBetter trending, there are a worrying number of similar stories from streamers of hate raids and abuse on the platform.
Omega Jones, a.k.a Critical Bard, is another Twitch partner who has been hate raided.
In a video on Twitter he shows exactly what happened, with the caption “It was bound to happen eventually.”
“When marginalised creators on this platform, specifically people of colour, tell you that Twitch needs to do better? Just listen,” he says.
— ΩMEGA JONES (@CriticalBard) August 10, 2021
Many feel that Twitch is not doing enough to keep marginalised streamers safe on the platform, due to the number of hate raids, follow bots and trolls.
What’s more, Twitch takes a 50 per cent cut of all streamer revenue. With streamers making a livelihood on the platform, this represents a huge chunk of money that they lose, despite working on a platform that allegedly fails to protect vulnerable people.
All of my friends are getting hate raids lately. #TwitchDoBetter. Make the platform safe for us, first and foremost. And give us a bigger cut of the revenue as well. The amount of trolls and harassment marginalized streamers put up with does not make 50% sub revenue worth it.
— chonki (@chonkikage) August 9, 2021
There’s no reason why banned accounts can still see my content.
There’s no reason why hate websites can link our content.
You take 50% of our earnings but we are still hate raided, still follow botted, still targeted. #TwitchDoBetter
— jude Death2Divinity (@MermaidRoyal) August 9, 2021
I see #TwitchDoBetter trending – marginalized creators raising their voices because the platform isn’t taking enough action to keep them safe from hate raids.
Feb 8, 2018: “Watch us closely and hold us accountable.”
— askesienne • libby (@libbyk) August 9, 2021
Streaming is a job. You do something in exchange for currency. How it is taxed up the wazoo, provides no benefit options, and creates an unfair market for marginalized people makes it a tilted job for said marginalized people. We still do it, and we can demand better from @Twitch
— Zaki the Proud Owl (He/Him) (@ProudOwlCrafts) August 9, 2021
What are you doing to stop black streamers from being hate raided ? @Twitch
— NNESAGA (@nnesaga) August 9, 2021
I spend hours, days, weeks watching Twitch streams and I constantly come across marginalised streamers being hate botted/raided with little to no action from Twitch. #TwitchDoBetter because a lot of us are suffering here day in and day out on your website.
— CauseImEd (@CauseImEd) August 9, 2021
How do you deal with follow bots? Using Commander Roots tools to remove followers is the best method, though as Eevo says, it’s a “tiresome task”.
Thankfully, streamer Just Jess has tweeted a video that explains how to remove follow bots – a great reference for any victims.
— just jess (@go_jg) August 9, 2021
PinkNews has contacted Twitch for comment.