“Hate Raids” Are Plaguing LGBT & POC Twitch Streamers

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Twitch finally responded to the growing problem of “hate raids” on its platform.

For anyone not familiar with the streaming site Twitch, raids are one of the platform’s most popular aspects. On the website, where people primarily stream themselves playing video games, a raid is when a large group of viewers join a stream. Usually, this is done with good intent. People ending their broadcast usually direct their viewers to another streamer to bolster the latter’s views and exposure. But lately, groups of viewers have been raiding LGBTQ, POC, and/or female streamers to spread homophobic, racist, and misogynist rhetoric or imagery.

Part of the concern is that streamers who use hashtags, like #Black or #LGBTQ, are being targeted for these hate raids. The new Twitch feature was created to allow streamers to classify themselves and their streams. Thus, it would be easier for viewers from varying communities to found streamers and content creators that belong to their marginalized group. But now it seems that a tool created to enhance representation is instead being used to spread hate speech and harassment.

Because of the growing problem, Twitch streamers, moderators, and viewers have used the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter. Twitch streamer RekItRaven, whose pronouns are she/they, was credited for creating #TwitchDoBetter. Raven says she started the hashtag to bring awareness to the issue.

“I was hate raided for the 2nd time in a week and I shared both the first and second occurrences [on Twitter] because they were very pointed rather than the normal, ‘You’re fat, black, gay stuff,’” Raven told The Verge.

“I started #TwitchDoBetter because I’m tired of having to fight to exist on a platform that says they’re diverse and inclusive but remained silent to the pleas of marginalized creators asking for more protections from hate raids,” they add.

“The go-to response from people who don’t agree with the movement is ‘get a thick skin,'” said Raven, according to PC Gamer. “I’m black, I’ve had a thick skin my whole life. But it doesn’t mean that seeing really hateful things in a place or a community that you have built and fostered on being respectful, doesn’t mean that I don’t internalize that, because I do. I think everybody does, because it’s hard enough for marginalized people to exist in the real world anyway so when we carve out, at least in my case, my little dark corner of the internet and people bring that to me, it’s hurtful.”

After a week of the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag, Twitch eventually commented on the situation. The company behind the platform and website issued a statement saying they’re preparing steps to protect streamers.

“We’ve seen a lot of conversation about botting, hate raids, and other forms of harassment targeting marginalized creators,” Twitch wrote on Twitter. “You’re asking us to do better, and we know we need to do more to address these issues.”

Twitch added that the company has identified “a vulnerability in our proactive filters, and have rolled out an update to close this gap and better detect hate speech in chat.”

To help fix the problem, Twitch says the company will implement more safety features in the coming weeks. This includes improving account verification and ban evasion detection tools. Raven, however, suggests that the updates shouldn’t stop there. They suggest allowing creators to block recently created accounts from chatting and letting stream moderators approve or decline raids.

Source: The Verge, Dexerto, PC Gamer,

5 thoughts on ““Hate Raids” Are Plaguing LGBT & POC Twitch Streamers”

  1. Here you go, stop associating yourself as LGBT or Black or whatever, use a common name, I do and I get left alone. Problem solved.

      • No, but they did sort of ask for this when they asked for their labels to be #hastaged but not anyother label.
        This is why labels shouldn’t be used, but the left continue to think adding more labels is “inclusive” rather than actually creating the very thing we fought against in the 40s. 🙂
        Go labeless. Folks.
        We are all human. I really care less what other thing you think you are. I don’t and neither should you.

        • They didn’t ask for it anymore than someone asks to be raped because they dress one way or another. It’s also not your business to tell other people that they should care about their gender identity, sexual orientation or their race. @@

          • Rape? Bitch please, go spread your drama elsewhere. You want to run around with your label stitched all over you, then do it but quit whining and crying when people call you name’s. Boo hoo, go cry elsewhere, zero fucks.

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