Twitch's bot crackdown cuts millions of followers from some of the site's top streamers

(Image credit: Twitch)

Twitch's latest crackdown on bots—fake accounts that artificially inflate viewer counts and followers—has led to some of the platform's biggest streamers losing millions of followers.

Earlier this week, Twitch announced via Twitter that it was taking action against a supposed 7.5+ million accounts suspected of follow-botting or view-botting. The site did warn that some streamers may see "sudden decreases" in their numbers. Indeed, streamers who lost hundreds or thousands of followers seemed relieved to finally have more accurate numbers to work with.

But a select few streamers lost a great deal more followers. Former OWL player Félix "xQc" Lengyel reportedly shed over 2.6 million followers, leaving him with a 'mere' 5.5 million. Chance "Sodapoppin" Morris, meanwhile, lost over 3.3 million followers this week. Blue-haired Fortnite streamer Ninja was comparatively unaffected, losing only around 200,000 followers.

It's worth noting that, for the most part, streamers seem to welcome this cull, though feel it's overdue, with some waiting months to have this problem addressed. Twitch is adamant that it aims to to punish botters, not botted streamers, and the removal of fake accounts doesn't appear to have led to a significant change in concurrent viewership, which plays a role in determining ad revenue payouts.

Bots aren't the only thing on Twitch's crosshairs, mind. Last week, the streaming platform announced it would now take more serious action against extremist, criminal action within the Twitch community—even if none of it happens on Twitch itself.

Thanks, Kotaku.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.