Twitch sues two trolls for ‘targeting Black and LGBT+ streamers’ in ongoing war against hate raids

Entertainment, Gaming, LGBTQ, twitch

People wait in line at booth for Twitch, the official Livestream Partner of E3 during the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) annual video game conference and show on June 14, 2016 (Getty)

Twitch has filed a lawsuit against two alleged instigators of hate raids.

Hate raids have been a high profile problem over the last few months, with marginalised streamers – including LGBT+ people – targeted by follow bots using abusive language. 

The lawsuit is the biggest move yet by Twitch in combating the issues.

The two hate raiders are being sued for “targeting black and LGBTQIA+ streamers with racist, homophobic, sexist and other harassing content”, which is in violation of Twitch terms of service.

Twitch told WIRED, “We hope this Complaint will shed light on the identity of the individuals behind these attacks and the tools that they exploit, dissuade them from taking similar behaviours to other services, and help put an end to these vile attacks against members of our community.”

The lawsuit, filed in California, identifies two alleged hate raiders “Cruzzcontrol” and “CreatineOverdose”, who Twitch believe reside in the Netherlands and Austria.

Twitch already took swift action in banning these accounts, but believe they own multiple accounts under various aliases to conduct hate raids and can “generate thousands of bots in minutes for this purpose.”

The lawsuit also alleges that CreatineOverdose used bot software to spam racial slurs into chats, as well as claiming “that the hate raiders were the ‘KKK.’” The company also believes CruzzControl is responsible for nearly 3,000 bot accounts associated with recent hate raids. In addition, the two accounts are said to be part of a wider hate raiding community.

“The malicious actors involved have been highly motivated in breaking our Terms of Service, creating new waves of fake bot accounts designed to harass Creators even as we continually update our sitewide protections against their rapidly evolving behaviours,” said Twitch to WIRED.

Twitch has, behind the scenes, banned thousands of accounts, created new chat filters, and is building “channel-level ban evasion detection”.

However, while this lawsuit may deter future hate raiders, many streamers feel Twitch is not doing enough to address the issue and protect streamers.

Hate raids are still regularly occurring.

Streamers have already urged Twitch to “do better” and launched the #ADayOffTwitch campaign that resulted in a drop of a million concurrent viewers on the platform.

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