Twitch offers new security measures after rise in hate-raids. But will it be enough?
After many streamers experienced hateful bot spamming, Twitch is is offering a solution. But will it be enough?
Content warning: racism
Anyone who spends time in Twitch chat knows that hate is commonplace. Most of the time the negativity is about gameplay, however lately it’s been about much more. Hate-raids are a form of bot spamming that takes over a streamer’s chat with obscene and even racist language. These horrible messages have included mentions of the KKK and even the n-word.
On Aug. 6. streamer RekItRaven experienced her first hate-raid. After talking with other marginalized streamers, she realized this was an all too common issue. So, Raven started the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter.
After over a week of online chatter from creators, Twitch finally sent out a series of Tweets addressing the issue. In the first Tweet, they acknowledged they need to do better. While this is a good start, streamers are demanding action. Twitch went on to say that they found a “vulnerability” in their filters and that they’ve already rolled out a patch to “better detect hate speech in chat.”
Later this year, Twitch says, they will be launching “channel-level ban evasion detection” and “account verification improvements”. The hope here is to lower the number of bots that get through in the first place.
Tags and tools
Some creators believe that Twitch’s new tag system has made it easier for hate-raids to happen. By using tags such as “Black” or “transgender”, trolls can quickly find new victims to harass. Streamers have been requesting a tag system for some time, however, they hoped Twitch would have added more tools to protect creators from abuse.
Apex Legends, which just saw the release of a Black pansexual legend called Seer, saw one of their top streamers experience a hate-raid as well. Ninjayla sent a Tweet shortly after the incident which included a helpful hint streamers can use to quickly stop the spam messages. Called Unique Chat Mode, this feature lets streamers type a command that finds repetitive messages in chat and quickly deletes them.
Until Twitch puts its new security measures in place, Unique Chat Mode, Sub Only Mode and quick-witted moderators are all that creators can rely on. For now, it’s unfortunately up to the streamers to control the toxicity that runs rampant on the platform.