Taking the legal route against hate speech on the platform, Twitch is suing two individuals who have allegedly participated in creating and facilitating hate raids against multiple creators.
Twitch has always suffered from toxic chats–namely, comments that attack marginalized creators based on their race, gender, or sexuality–but recently, such activity intensified into “hate raids.” Perpetrators of hate raids often use bots to overwhelm the chat with harmful language, usually at a rate that exceeds the streamers’ ability to moderate the chat.
Twitch acknowledged the hate raid problem–in conjunction with campaigns by Twitch streamers that asked for the company to do more about hate raids–and promised that it was looking for solutions. Now in a lawsuit filed on September 9, Twitch named Cruzzcontrol and Creatineoverdose as two individuals who created bots and launched multiple hate raids against racial minorities and LGBTQ+ community members.
The company claimed it “took swift action against Defendants by suspending and eventually permanently banning Defendants’ known Twitch accounts.” The two individuals, however, continued to make new accounts and altered their “hate raid code” in order to avoid detection and suspension.
The lawsuit, then, is an attempt to put a firm end to the defendants’ participation and creation of hate raids. Twitch believes Cruzzcontrol resides in the Netherlands and Creatineoverdose currently lives in Austria. The real names of both individuals is currently unknown.
Twitch streamers have been dissatisfied with the platform’s seemingly slow response to the influx of hate raids. On September 1, Twitch streamers appealed to the platform for solutions and organized a day-long Twitch boycott called #ADayoffTwitch in order to pressure the company to do more about the influx of hate raids. The campaign was a follow-up to #TwitchDoBetter, one that also called for Twitch to offer tools for marginalized creators to defend against hate speech bombardment. Twitch responded to the campaigns on Twitter and promised that it was actively looking to prevent hate raids by “updating sitewide banned words filter” and continual removal of identified bots.