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Twitch hate raids are back, targeting women and LGBTQ+ creators

Twitch has responded to a surge in hate raids against women and LGBTQ+ streamers linked to far-right streaming platform CozyTV.
Twitch hate raids are back, targeting women and LGBTQ+ creators

In August last year, streamers from marginalised groups fell victim to orchestrated hate raids on Twitch. The attacks involved bot accounts spamming chat channels with racist, homophobic, transphobic and sexist comments, sparking massive outcry and protest action by small creators calling on Twitch to do better.

The Amazon-owned streaming service condemned the hate raids, banning accounts and later offering new tools to combat ongoing hate speech on its platforms. However, while the frequency of hate raids subsided, several creators have reported a recent increase in attacks once again.

In particular, creators have linked the attacks to conservative streaming platform CozyTV, co-founded by far-right nationalist Nick Fuentes,  who has reportedly been encouraging attacks, most notably against women and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Warning: The video below contains strong language and remarks that some viewers might find unsettling.

Fuentes said that there's something so "rich and satisfying" about watching "panic-stricken transgender [...] libtards" unable to do anything about the attacks and laughed about the blatant harassment undertaken by its users.

Twitch responds to hate raids with legal threats

On 12th March 2022, Twitch Support acknowledged the hate raids, writing, "Over the past 24 hours, bad actors have been coordinating off-Twitch to target women and LGBTQ+ members of our community with spammy and hateful chat messages" in a  Twitter thread.

The Amazon-owned streaming service continued, "Hate has no place on Twitch, and we’ve identified and suspended the Twitch accounts of the individuals participating."

Accordingly, Twitch says that its Safety team are "actively reviewing reports" and are suspending users found to have violated their Terms of Service. "Our legal team is also involved and actively investigating," the company noted, adding that they have taken legal action against individuals in the past and "continue to take these activities seriously."

twitch responds hate raids cozytv
Twitch has responded with threats of legal action against users involved in hate raids on its platform. (Picture: Twitch)

Twitch further advised that creators enable the following settings, noting that it has a "big impact" in combating hate raids in the past.

  • Dial up AutoMode to L3
  • Turn on Followers-Only mode
  • Turn on Slow Mode
  • Enable email and phone verification
  • Only allow Raids from friends

Lastly, Twitch appealed to the community to continue to channel ban, report and block all cases of harassment, concluding, "know that we are working diligently to take action as quickly as possible."

how to stop hate raids twitch automod cozytv
Twitch recommends creators enable AutoMod Level 3 and several other settings. (Picture: Twitch)

The broader community has positively received Twitch's quick response; however, many feel it's ridiculous that hate raids continue to be a problem in the first place. Others think a "suspension" is not severe enough, arguing that Twitch should instead slam users with permabans.

At the same time, some users feel that Twitch's existing menu of tools are sufficient to combat hate raids, with one user writing, "If the streamer chooses not to use these tools," then they shouldn't complain to Twitch.

We will continue to update you regarding any further developments related to this story.


Featured image courtesy of Twitch and Unsplash.