We all know that Twitch chat can be quite toxic but recent "hate raiding" has taken things to an entirely new level and it's absolutely disgusting. Hate raiding is the practice where a group of individuals target specific streamers (usually marginalized groups) and invade their chat, only to spam hateful and often discriminatory messages.
Many streamers have called for Twitch to take action by providing better tools to combat this practice and trended the #TwitchDoBetter on social media. After several days of petitioning, Twitch finally ushered a response via Twitter, promising its users that they will "do better" to address issues of harassment toward marginalized groups on their platform.
Twitch responds to racist bots targeting black streamers
In their official statement, posted on the 11th of August, Twitch acknowledged the growing conversation about "botting, hate raids, and other forms of harassment targeting marginalized creators".
The company further noted: "You’re asking us to do better, and we know we need to do more to address these issues. That includes an open and ongoing dialogue about creator safety".
We’ve seen a lot of conversation about botting, hate raids, and other forms of harassment targeting marginalized creators. You’re asking us to do better, and we know we need to do more to address these issues. That includes an open and ongoing dialogue about creator safety.— Twitch (@Twitch) August 11, 2021
Twitch further indicated that they "were able to identify a vulnerability in [their] proactive filters", which they have since fixed. The Amazon-owned streaming platform says that they are also "launching channel-level ban evasion detection and account verification improvements later this year" and hopes that these tools "will have a big impact".
Thank you to everyone who shared these difficult experiences. We were able to identify a vulnerability in our proactive filters, and have rolled out an update to close this gap and better detect hate speech in chat. We'll keep updating this to address emerging issues.— Twitch (@Twitch) August 11, 2021
We're launching channel-level ban evasion detection and account verification improvements later this year. We’re working hard to launch these tools as soon as possible, and we hope they will have a big impact. Check out more on our existing tools here: https://t.co/Dku6eBhY72— Twitch (@Twitch) August 11, 2021
"Our work is never done, and your input is essential as we try to build a safer Twitch. We’ll be reaching out to community members to learn more about their experiences, and encourage you to share feedback via UserVoice", Twitch concluded.
Twitch's plan of action appears to have been received positively by the majority of community members, although there have been several individuals calling for more to be done. Other individuals are also not so convinced and called Twitch's response a "PR cover-up".
"Why did it take an entire off-platform movement for you guys to address what we marginalized creators experience on your platform on a DAILY basis. When Twitch stops thinking reactively and starts thinking proactively, there will be progress", a verified Twitter user commented.
You can see an example of the "hate raiding" in the video linked below from Twitch streamer "Rek it Raven".
Guess who got hate raided again tonight?— Ê€á´‡á´‹ ɪá´›, Ê€ᴀá´ á´‡É´! ☠🔪 (@RekItRaven) August 7, 2021
Keep hating, babes. I'm not going anywhere.
And the fact that ya'll made accounts like "ravens_baboon_lips" and "ravencantbreatheofficer" don't mean fuck all to me because I'm still here and I'm still ✨thriving ✨ pic.twitter.com/fHtgy1Os2W
Only time will tell whether the implementation of Twitch's new tools will make much difference. While it's at least optimistic that Twitch is acknowledging and responding to community complaints, it's arguable whether their new policies or tools will make any difference.
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Header image via Twitch.