Streamers are protesting online hate raids against minorities by taking #ADayOffTwitch

Twitch streamers are boycotting the platform after a number of minority creators have been targeted by hate raids and botting. Members of the LGBTQ+, Black and disabled communities have all been victims of these hateful attacks.

A half open laptop on a desk

“The last few months on Twitch have been such a draining experience for many marginalised creators.”

The #ADayOffTwitch protest took place on September 1 and is still sparking conversations web-wide about how the platform could do better to protect its creators.

Boycotters have been sharing a graphic on Twitter that lists the actions they want to see from Twitch following the #TwitchDoBetter campaign, set up originally by RekItRaven, a creator on the livestreaming service.

RekItRaven is one creator of many who has suffered these attacks which consist of bots and users spamming their streams with hateful slurs and toxic comments.

They spoke out as early as July 31 about being inundated by racist comments during a livestream. The attackers even went so far as to include Raven’s address and personal information about their children.

Now, over a month later, the inaction of Twitch to rectify the issue is what has led to boycotting.

RekItRaven teamed up with LuciaEverBlack and Shineypen to organise the protest under the hashtag, #ADayOffTwitch.

We spoke with Dylan, a queer Irish Twitch user who streams under the name Korbosnappedd, to get his perspective on the current situation.

“The last few months on Twitch have been such a draining experience for many marginalised creators,” Dylan told us. “I would count myself very lucky as I’ve only been affected one time by these hate raids. But many other creators, specifically POC streamers, have been targets of these attacks nearly every single time they go live.

“A lot of people including myself were very happy to see how much traction the #ADayOffTwitch gained resulting in hundreds of publications writing about this issue. We were all very aware that this one-day boycott would not affect Twitch in the short term, but the level of publicity this has gained has hopefully signalled to many advertisers and game developers of the issues occurring on Twitch.”

As of yet, Twitch has not made any public acknowledgement of the #ADayOffTwitch boycott or the streamers’ demands.

However, Twitch has made statements about the hate raids in a series of Tweets on August 11. The thread reads:

“We’ve seen a lot of conversation about botting, hate raids, and other forms of harassment targeting marginalized creators. 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.

“Thank you to everyone who shared these difficult experiences. We were able to identify a vulnerability in our proactive filters, and have rolled out an update to close this gap and better detect hate speech in chat. We’ll keep updating this to address emerging issues.

“We’re launching channel-level ban evasion detection and account verification improvements later this year. We’re working hard to launch these tools as soon as possible, and we hope they will have a big impact. Check out more on our existing tools here:

“Our work is never done, and your input is essential as we try to build a safer Twitch. We’ll be reaching out to community members to learn more about their experiences, and encourage you to share feedback via UserVoice:”

However, despite these forthcoming measures by the video livestreaming service, the attacks remain unresolved. On 20 August, Twitch took to Twitter again:

“No one should have to experience malicious and hateful attacks based on who they are or what they stand for. This is not the community we want on Twitch, and we want you to know we are working hard to make Twitch a safer place for creators.”

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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