Today is the day of #ADayOffTwitch, in protest of the platform's inability to address "hate raids," organized attacks in which channels belonging to marginalized Twitch streamers are flooded with abusive language and slurs. Participants in the walkout are calling on Twitch to take four specific steps to curb the abuse:
- Hold a roundtable discussion with affected creators to assist with the creation and implementation of more proactive and comprehensive toolsets to combat abuse on their streaming platform.
- Creative proactive protection to be implemented immediately, enabling creators to select account age of prospective chatters and allow or deny incoming raids.
- Remove the ability to attach more than three Twitch accounts to an email address—currently, hate-raiders can use one email account to register unlimited addresses.
- Provide transparency into the actions being taken to protect creators, the timeframe for implementing those tools, and the involvement of the Twitch Safety Advisory Council.
Twitch is still very active today despite the protest, but the action appears to be having an impact. According to TwitchTracker, concurrent viewership today peaked at roughly 3.5 million at 4 pm ET today, a 1 million concurrent viewer drop from the previous day. In fact, it's the only day of the past week that failed to surpass the 4 million concurrent viewer mark at some point. The graph only goes back a week, but the figure is undeniably lower than numbers seen in the full-year concurrent viewer graph at the bottom of the page.
Some of that success is no doubt due to the participation of streamers such as Kaceytron and HasanAbi, who have more than 2 million followers between them. Both expressed support for the effort, and did not stream today. RekItRaven, who got the ball rolling with the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag, said on Twitter that the day feels "cathartic."
"I'll be spending this time with my family, gaming and hanging with friends and just taking a fucking breath," she tweeted. "This is not the end. But fuck, I am going to enjoy today."
There are multiple suggestions that will help make twitch a better place for everyone. Thank you to @RekItRaven and all of the other strong voices who have made this happen. pic.twitter.com/cpJ3O4JfZmSeptember 1, 2021
Because of the protest, Twitch delayed the launch of Subtember, an annual month-long sale on channel subscriptions, to September 2, and also published a new page on "combating targeted attacks," including advice on how to avoid them, and what actions to take when it happens.
"We support our streamers’ rights to express themselves and bring attention to important issues across our service," Twitch said in a statement emailed to PC Gamer. "No one should have to experience malicious and hateful attacks based on who they are or what they stand for, and we are working hard on improved channel-level ban evasion detection and additional account improvements to help make Twitch a safer place for creators."
Twitch also said in August that it plans to launch security upgrades including "channel-level ban evasion detection and account verification improvements" later this year.