Will you be joining the blackout? (pic: Photothek)
A number of high profile streamers have effectively gone on strike, to protest against Twitch’s inability to police ‘hate raids’.
Twitch streamers LuciaEverblack, RekItRaven, and ShineyPen have staged a 24 hour walkout and are encouraging others to do the same, in protest at the way the phenomenon of ‘hate raids’ is being handled.
Hate raids involve viewers using the raid function of Twitch to fill a channel with racist or otherwise offensive comments, something which Twitch has been accused of doing too little to prevent.
Whether the intended blackout will have any effect remains to be seen, as at time of writing there’s no significant difference in the number of streamers and viewers between today and yesterday, although that may change later in the day as America begins to wake up.
The streamers are encouraging people not to watch Twitch today or to log in to chat, with the hashtag #ADayOffTwitch being used on Twitter.
Twitch already commented on the issues when plans for the blackout were first announced, insisting that, ‘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.’
‘Hate spam attacks are the result of highly motivated bad actors, and do not have a simple fix. Your reports have helped us take action – we’ve been continually updating our sitewide banned word filters to help prevent variations on hateful slurs, and removing bots when identified’, added the statement.
“We’ve been building channel-level ban evasion detection and account improvements to combat this malicious behaviour for months. However, as we work on solutions, bad actors work in parallel to find ways around them – which is why we can’t always share details.’
Whether today’s attempt at a blackout is successful or not it should at least serve the purpose of highlighting the issue and ensuring that any subsequent attempts at a similar demonstration are better supported.
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