Social media is rallying against Twitch as streamers call on the platform to address a recent trend where bots spam racist messages in chat. Centered on bots and ‘hate raids,’ the community has begun asking that #TwitchDoBetter.
Twitch’s Terms of Service condemn any “hateful conduct,” which specifies any activity that includes discrimination based on ‘race, ethnicity, and color.’ As such, there are barriers to the free speech enjoyed by the Twitch community and the platform is publicly opposed to racist language.
Unfortunately, bigots and follow bots are nothing new to the Twitch world and an unknown entity is creating numerous free accounts to harass Black streamers with racist chat spam.
With Apex Legends streamer Solo being the latest victim of this harassment, #TwitchDoBetter has begun trending on Twitter as people stand in solidarity demanding change. Viewers and streamers alike are hoping Twitch can become a safer space by heightening security measures.
(Content warning: inflammatory racist language used in screenshots below.)
And it's happened again.
This is absolutely enough. If you're taking 1/2 of our income then why are marginalized people still subject to lackluster safety protocols?#TwitchDoBetter <– use the hashtag, don't just retweet https://t.co/aYin88chwl
— ʀᴇᴋ ɪᴛ, ʀᴀᴠᴇɴ! ☠🔪 (@RekItRaven) August 9, 2021
Initially tweeted by Solo, RekItRaven follows by asking Twitch a direct question: “If you’re taking half of our income, then why are marginalized people still subject to lackluster safety protocols?”
The existing protocols are already considered insufficient, as evidenced by the chat spam Solo was subjected to. Those messages, from various ‘soyboy’ bot accounts, essentially dehumanized Black people while bypassing Twitch auto-moderation with a misspelling of George Floyd.
Understandably, Solo responded to the spam by calling the botters “pathetic f**king scum,” and has since begun using tools like Commanderroot to address the situation. Still, this is an unsatisfactory solution for most, who believe Twitch ought to take a stronger stance and enforce their ToS more proactively.
All of my friends are getting hate raids lately. #TwitchDoBetter. Make the platform safe for us, first and foremost. And give us a bigger cut of the revenue as well. The amount of trolls and harassment marginalized streamers put up with does not make 50% sub revenue worth it.
— chonki 👻 (@chonkikage) August 9, 2021
Another issue that this hashtag has brought attention to is the problem of “hate raids,” where users flood streamers with abusive language and derail the stream. Like the bot spam problem, people are hoping Twitch can be more active in preventing this sort of behavior.
As RekItRaven and many across social media have illustrated though, Twitch is the one making money off of streamers and those creators shouldn’t have to find third-party help to avoid hate speech.
At the moment, the platform’s representatives have yet to respond to the situation — but the trending hashtag has a clear goal: get Twitch to take action and make their platform a safer space for all.