Streamers and content creators on Twitch have been demanding the platform to do better in addressing rampant hate raids for weeks. Even after trending #TwitchDoBetter, Twitch has, in fact, not done better. It hasn’t done anything, actually. So creators are taking matters into their own hands by planning a one-day strike to see if, hopefully, Twitch will finally do a damn thing.
Hate raids are organized attacks against primarily marginalized streamers in which bot accounts are unleashed into their chats. These bots then spam slurs and are used to doxx creators, jeopardizing their safety. It certainly doesn’t help that it is incredibly easy to create a fake account to conduct hate raids on Twitch, either. While hate raids have always been a problem, they have recently escalated in severity, especially since Twitch implemented tags for POC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized streamers to use. Instead of celebrating their spaces and audiences, these creators are being targeted with vitriol just for belonging to marginalized groups.
so I was hate raided for almost 3 hours of the 4.5ish I was live. We played no games.
I need people to understand something about this: https://t.co/ZzYXlKAOaR
— Ms. Vanessa B!, Lv. 35 State of the Sideeye ????️???? (@pleasantlytwstd) August 21, 2021
Twitch responded to this endemic problem earlier this week on August 20, writing in a series of tweets:
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.
Hate spam attacks are the result of highly motivated bad actors, and do not have a simple fix. Your reports have helped us take action–we’ve been continually updating our sitewide banned word filters to help prevent variations on hateful slurs, and removing bots when identified.
We’ve been building channel-level ban evasion detection and account improvements to combat this malicious behavior for months. However, as we work on solutions, bad actors work in parallel to find ways around them—which is why we can’t always share details.
In the meantime, please keep reporting these egregious attacks. It helps us identify and remove bad actors and their networks, and update tools as behaviors evolve. These changes may not be visible, but we are making them daily.
Again: they’ve done nothing. So creators are striking on September 1.
Twitch streamer @RekItRaven, who created the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag, announced #ADayOffTwitch a few hours after Twitch’s response went live. “We are continuing the fight,” they tweeted. “Shout out to @LuciaEverblack and @ShineyPen for helping me with this!”
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We are continuing the fight.
— ʀᴇᴋ ɪᴛ, ʀᴀᴠᴇɴ! ☠???? (@RekItRaven) August 20, 2021
While some folks have pointed out that Twitch deserves these creators to refuse to use the platform until change arrives, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Streaming on Twitch is how many content creators make a living. It shouldn’t take a boycott for Twitch to respond to this problem in the first place. While it’s important for the folks at Twitch to take their time and respond the right way, this has gone on long enough without meaningful change.
If you are a content creator on Twitch, you are welcome to participate by not streaming on September 1. If you’re not a content creator, you can show your solidarity and demand better from the streaming platform by not visiting Twitch that day and spreading the #TwitchDoBetter and #ADayOffTwitch hashtags.