Hololive VTuber Kobo Kanaeru has just had their YouTube account banned after being targeted by bots as part of a wave of attacks impacting Indonesian VTube channels.
The VTuber explosion throughout the early 2020’s has seen many streamers thrust into the public eye in ways that very few expected.
In a malicious backlash against the trend, multiple accounts have been besieged with bot armies featuring lewd profile pictures while spamming offensive comments. YouTube views these as violations of its terms of service in an automated system, causing the channels to receive bans from the platform.
Advice to turn on timed chats or only allow subscribers to talk has seemed to have little impact on the success of the attacks with advice going back and forth on Twitter about how best to deal with the situation.
I Affirmly asking you lads, streamers on Youtube to turn off the Live Riderect feature.
those bot raids r going rampage channels to channels.
Subscriber mode + Slow mode for any long doesn't stop them at all.
If you're reading this as you stream, plase be at full caution.
— Zen Gunawan 🍍 (@ZenGunawan) May 9, 2022
Alongside Kobo Kaneru, Lulana Winternyx, Mika Melatika, and Keyla Estella have all received bans. Showing a tendency of the attacks to be aimed towards Indonesian streamers.
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Reaching out to YouTube has allowed for the larger VTubers, one of which was banned during a 150,000 subscriber celebration, to be told that the issue is being worked on.
“Everything should be okay and back to normal in a couple of days so let’s wait and hope for the best together!” they said.
Not all have been as lucky though, with some streamers openly announcing their frustrations on Twitter, giving up hope of getting their accounts back, and being forced to start afresh.
Hello ! So, i have been try to appeal like 5 times but i can't get back my youtube account :'(So, i am making new channel and also rebranding myself as Lulana Winternyx.
Will you help me to reach my target? 🥺
Link:https://t.co/lcqGvs72Qa https://t.co/S9xLEc2up5 pic.twitter.com/5yj9DrJvHa
— Lula 🍇 (@LulanaWinternyx) May 7, 2022
With Twitch being well accustomed to dealing with hate raids, as the problem has been a persistent issue over the past few years, others have abandoned YouTube to join the Amazon-owned platform in the hopes that they have a better appeals process.
The fallout has run deep on this issue, with the moderator on a Reddit discussing the botting having “to lock a thread due to personal attacks“. With no fix immediately in sight we’ll be keeping an eye on this situation as it develops.