Twitch promises to take action after racist bots target Black streamers


After several days of broadcasters petitioning Twitch to address the recent influx of racist bots and hate raids, the streaming platform has finally issued an official response, promising users it will “do better.”

The hashtag #TwitchDoBetter has become prevalent on Twitter over the past few days. The phrase, coined by streamer RekItRaven, is meant to bring attention to the shocking amount of racist bots that have cropped up on the site, which bombard streamers of color with hateful messages in a seemingly endless tirade.

Various bot accounts have managed to bypass Twitch’s pre-existing protocols in regards to Community Guidelines in several ways — one of which included misspelling the late George Floyd’s name as a means of harassing Black content creators, effectively going under the radar.

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Two days after Raven’s initial tweet coining the hashtag, Twitch has published an official response to the shocking and deplorable behavior from the creators of these bot accounts.

Content warning: The tweet below contains offensive language. Reader discretion is advised.

In their statement, Twitch claimed that they “were able to identify a vulnerability” in their protective filters, and have implemented an update to better detect hate speech.

The platform is also launching “channel-level ban evasion detection” and “account verification improvements” later in the year — meaning that it will be harder for random users to make multiple spam accounts.

“We’ve seen a lot of conversation about botting, hate raids, and other forms of harassment targeting marginalized creators,” Twitch wrote. “You’re asking us to do better, and we know we need to do more to address these issues. That includes an open and ongoing dialogue about creator safety.”

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Thus far, the general response to Twitch’s statement has been fairly positive, although there are plenty of voices calling for further action to be taken and other changes made.

Twitch’s new policy also follows discussion of a “Social Media ID” system, which would require users to provide legal identification for opening any social media account, effectively tying everything back to a single person.

While the UK government has dashed a petition asking for such a system, Twitch’s account verification process could be a step towards combatting hate on their platform — and perhaps act as a stepping stone for others to do the same.

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