Twitch threatens legal action after hate raids against LGBTQIA+ streamers spike

Twitch streamer playing Fortnite with mobile chat openUnsplash: Caspar Rubin

Twitch has addressed community concern around a sharp rise in hate raids targeting LGBTQIA+ streamers on the platform. The company states they’ve banned a number of accounts involved, promising potential legal action, and advising streamers how to protect themselves.

Hate raids have become a hot topic in the Twitch community over the last 12 months. While big stars like Pokimane have thrusted it into the spotlight, it’s a regular occurrence for smaller streamers who lack tools to stop it.

While Twitch has implemented some changes, LGBTQIA+ streamers ⁠— especially women ⁠— have been harassed by hate raids, spiking in March. The raids have been tracked back to another streaming platform called CozyTV.

The platform is stepping in though, promising to ban those harassing streamers in a March 11 statement.

“Over the past 24 hours, bad actors have been coordinating off-Twitch to target women and LGBTQ+ members of our community with spammy and hateful chat messages,” the company said.

“Hate has no place on Twitch, and we’ve identified and suspended the Twitch accounts of the individuals participating. Our Safety team is actively reviewing reports and suspending users in violation of our [terms of service].”

Twitch isn’t just stopping at bans though. The platform is looking into legal options ⁠— like they have done in the past ⁠— to shut down targeted harassment.

“Our legal team is also involved and actively investigating. We’ve taken legal action against those who’ve harassed our community in the past and continue to take these activities seriously.”

CozyTV CEO Nick Fuentes has laughed off the hate raid claims: “It’s just delicious to me to see the seething, and the panic-stricken [LGBTQIA+ streamer] when there’s no moderator, no admin, no report button, no support ticket they can file.”

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Twitch has condemned the rise of hate raids, but no new tools have been promised to help streamers.

While Twitch has promised to suspend those participating in hate raids, the platform has not outlined any potential changes to prevent them in the future.

However, they have told streamers to increase their AutoMod strength, turn Followers-Only chat on, enable email and phone verification, and to only allow Raids from friends to stem the harassment.

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