What Are Twitch Hate Raids and Why Streamers Are Boycotting Over Them
We’ve talked about hate raids before here on Esports Talk and how they affect Twitch. Cribazz is a streamer that was banned back in June for harassing women and LGBTQIA+ streamers. He was going into other streams to harass these streamers, bringing his chat with them. Homophobic, sexist slurs would follow in each of these streams. It doesn’t matter to these people at all. People create floods of bots that spam slurs, Nazi ideology, and worse still. Minority streamers don’t feel safe anymore, and it doesn’t seem to matter how many followers they have.
What Is a Hate Raid? What Can Be Done?
Hate raids on Twitch are when someone uses the raid mechanic to abuse streamers. It doesn’t typically involve the raider’s core following. Instead, it tends to be a flood of hundreds of bots that spew hate and slurs into the streamers’ chat. What makes them so hard to deal with is that now there are hundreds harassing you. That’s not easy to ban out. It’s a horrible thing to see someone go through, and worse to experience yourself.
Raids are common on Twitch, and they should be used to hype someone up and make them feel good. To use this tool to harass marginalized streamers for these shallow, sad reasons needs to be dealt with. Really, nobody is safe either. Twitch “promises” fixes later in the year, but that doesn’t help people who have been dealing with this for months. It sounds like it primarily affects those using the LGBTQIA+ and Black tags on Twitter for their streams.
Cypher pointed out that they were dealing with repeated hate raids featuring Nazi logos on the accounts. It’s certainly a system motivated entirely by hate of others. It definitely has an effect on marginalized streamers, according to Dr. Saffista. They are a games academic who streams as a form of community outreach and research:
“It makes marginalized content creators nervous. And in that trepidation, they are either not streaming, putting things into place that ultimately limit community building and growth, or become so nervous every time their alerts go off that they are ‘off their game.’”
There are so many stories on social media about people enduring hate raids on Twitch. Ky on Twitter (@DefinedByKy) showed her personal live reactions to a hate raid. She felt it was important to have people hear what she said about it. Streamers are speaking up through the Hashtag, #TwitchDoBetter. Twitch Partner Jambo had this to say:
Twitch, your creators are AFRAID TO STREAM for fear of being HARASSED and ATTACKED for EXISTING. You are in control of the security measures you take, the safety precautions you offer us, the moderation tools you provide and the culture allowed on the platform. Do something.”
Are there solutions? There are, but it’s up to Twitch to take action. We could see additional authentication processes for new users, logging IP addresses of these hate botters, and keeping banned users off the site. The problem is the question of “Will we ever see these things happen?” For now, there are third-party tools you can use, while we wait on Twitch.
Solutions to Hate Raids on Twitch
Quite a few people have solutions on what you can do for now, to help combat Twitch hate raids. It’s just a shame this has to be the answer. One Twitch streamer uses an Elgato Stream Deck to help fight these hate raids. This streamer, QueerlyBee talked about the Panic Button.
“It’s a multifunction button on my Elgato Stream Deck that disabled the alert box, disables on-stream chat, clears chat, switches to sub-only mode, creates a stream marker, slows chat down, and plays ads. I also then have a reverse button to undo those actions for when things have calmed down.”
It’s a shame that is what some people have to resort to. There are solutions for those who don’t have things like a Stream Deck. Another Twitch streamer, EarthtoBre made a program using Lioranboard that does something similar. She posted the tutorial on how to do it on TikTok. CommanderRoot made a tool that allows you to block/ignore people in large groups, and it’s a blessing. Hackbolt also made Bots n Bigots – a spreadsheet filled with bots and people who are well-known to be involved in hate raids on Twitch. Might be handy to block people in a nice big group.
The biggest collection of resources though comes from JustMeEmillyP. She created the hate raid response site to help victims of these hate raids. It is loaded with resources and what to do before, during, and after a hate raid. You can find the hate raid response here and it’s worth being aware of. She apparently created this right before Black History Month. There was a lot of anxiety among the Black streamers about incoming hate, and so this site was put together.
Hate raids have been going on the Twitch site for years, but they’ve gotten really bad over the last year. Anyone can be a victim of them, and it’s genuinely horrible to have to watch. It’s our hope that Twitch does in fact do better. That’s what we want. It’s not to dump on Twitch, but we want every user of the site to feel safe to do so without fear of harassment. For now, these solutions are a way to deal with the problem.