Skip to main content

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)
Audio player loading…

'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 (opens in new tab) about the target. Earlier this month they escalated in frequency and severity to the point the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter (opens in new tab) was trending on Twitter. 

Begun by streamer Rek It Raven (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), and asking viewers to boycott Twitch on the same day. Looking at the hashtag #ADayOffTwitch (opens in new tab), 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' (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) was a rare positive moment in this otherwise depressing saga. 

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, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was published in 2015, he edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and actually did play every Warhammer videogame.