After months of 'hate raids', streamers plan #ADayOffTwitch

A gamepad in front of a screen displaying Twitch
(Image credit: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)

'Hate raids' are organized attacks on marginalized Twitch streamers in which bot accounts flood their chat with repeated slurs, sometimes incorporating Nazi imagery or real-life details about the target. Earlier this month they escalated in frequency and severity to the point the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter was trending on Twitter. 

Begun by streamer Rek It Raven, the hashtag drew attention to the platform's lack of response on hate raids. Twitch's current moderation tools lack the finesse to deal with these raids, and while some streamers rely on third-party tools to fill the gap even they would prefer Twitch itself stepped up—especially since Twitch takes half of what most streamers earn through subscriptions and tips

The platform's response was an admission that "we know we need to do more to address these issues", and was followed by a thread that says, "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." 

That's not enough for many streamers, who are planning to essentially go on strike on September 1, and asking viewers to boycott Twitch on the same day. Looking at the hashtag #ADayOffTwitch, you can see streamers from all over the world declaring they'll join this protest in solidarity.

To finish with a small ray of sunshine, when multiple hate raids hit Rek It Raven's channel recently, Sean "Day[9]" Plott countered with a 'love raid' by sending over hundreds of his viewers to drown out the hateful comments from bots. Seeing Raven's chat fill with hearts and messages of support was a rare positive moment in this otherwise depressing saga. 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.