Streamers urge a one-day Twitch boycott in protest against racist and transphobic ‘hate raids’

Twitch streamers are planning #ADayOffTwitch in protest against a phenomenon known as hate raids.

It follows the viral #TwitchDoBetter campaign, aimed at pushing Twitch to find a solution to ongoing issues of racism, transphobia and abuse on the platform.

Streamers RekItRaven, LuciaEverBlack and Shineypen have organised the new protest for creators and viewers to stay off Twitch, which will take place on 1 September.

We are continuing the fight.

Shout out to @LuciaEverblack and @ShineyPen for helping me with this!#ADayOffTwitch
September 1st, don’t go live. pic.twitter.com/dU1ycC9YtM

— ʀᴇᴋ ɪᴛ, ʀᴀᴠᴇɴ! (@RekItRaven) August 20, 2021

This protest sits alongside a Change.org petition to pressure Twitch to find a solution to hate raids. The petition has had almost 15,000 signatures.

Hate raids are a continuous problem for LGBT+ streamers on the platform, who are repeatedly raided by follow bots spouting hateful comments.

Twitch has released a second statement on Twitter with regards to the attacks.

“No one should have to experience malicious and hateful attacks based on who they are or what they stand for. This is not the community we want on Twitch, and we want you to know we are working hard to make Twitch a safer place for creators,” it reads.

No one should have to experience malicious and hateful attacks based on who they are or what they stand for. This is not the community we want on Twitch, and we want you to know we are working hard to make Twitch a safer place for creators. https://t.co/fDbw62e5LW

— Twitch (@Twitch) August 20, 2021

The thread goes on to explain they are working on solutions, however they are not able to share details in order to secure their work from “bad actors” instigating the malicious raids.

This thread from trans Cybersecurity Ph.D scholar That_GayGinger explains further the predicament Twitch are in, where they’re unable to be vocal about their solutions.

Cyber threat groups are categorized into a few groups: nation-states, hacktivists, cyber criminals, terrorist groups, insider threats, and thrill-seekers. Each group is categorized by their motivation for perpetuating cyber crime. The latter-most group, 1/?

— Patrick Damon (@That_GayGinger) August 21, 2021

However, many streamers feel Twitch is not working fast enough to find a solution, which is why #ADayOffTwitch has picked up speed as a protest.

And while Twitch does have tools to support and protect streamers, one viral tweet explains how impossible it is for streamers themselves to prevent attack.

The video from thomsimonson describes how hate raiders use recognisable characters from non-English languages to circumvent banned terms.

@Twitch gives you tools to manage hate raids. You just have to use them.”

Okay let’s try that… (turn volume on)#TwitchDoBetter pic.twitter.com/pvxyJ8Vw1S

— Art for the Apocalypse (@thomsimonson) August 22, 2021

His example is for the word “jogger”, for which he created a script to detect different permutations of the word. The script found 21.9 million variations, which would take 76 days non-stop to individually ban.

This is why streamers are calling on Twitch to find a platform-wide solution to the problem.

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