As first reported by WIRED's Cecelia D'Anastasio, Twitch filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California on Thursday against two individuals that they allege are responsible for using thousands of bot accounts to carry out hate raids against black, LGBTQ, and otherwise marginalized creators on their platform.
Those bot hate raids prompted the #DayOffTwitch on September first, a one-day boycott of the service driven by primarily small and mid-tier streamers attempting to draw attention to the hate raid problem.
“We hope this Complaint will shed light on the identity of the individuals behind these attacks and the tools that they exploit, dissuade them from taking similar behaviors to other services, and help put an end to these vile attacks against members of our community,” a Twitch spokesperson told WIRED in a comment.
The complaint, which was filed on September 9th, names CruzzControl and CreatineOverdose as the defendants in the case. Twitch alleges that these two users created thousands of accounts to harass users with and used computer code to avoid detection from Twitch. Twitch further claimed in the complaint that these two are part of a larger hate raid community that organizes itself on platforms like Discord.
"Beginning in or about August 2021, Defendants began coordinating attacks on Twitch's streamers by raiding their channels and spamming those communities with hate," Twitch stated in the facts portion of their complaint. " These hate raids were, in some cases, directed to streamers who identified themselves as racial minorities and/or members of the LGBTQ+ community. Defendants conduct the hate-raids by flooding a streamer's chat with hate-filled and obscene text, including racial slurs, personally identifying information, and malicious links . . . over a short period of time."
Twitch further alleged that the defendants created large-scale botting armies that allowed them to send "dozens of messages per minute that often outpace the targetted streamers ability to moderate chat." According to Twitch, despite their greatest moderation efforts and significant investment in methods to limit these hate raids, they have continued unabated.
Twitch further claimed that CruzzControl has admitted to using bots to flood Twitch with harassment, including demonstrating their bot system online in August.
The claims for relief in this case include:
- Breach of Contract
- Fraud in the inducement
- Statutory Unfair competition
The case is the first legal action that Twitch has taken publicly against hate raiders who have invaded the platform over the past few months. We will have to wait and see if this action can make an impact on the prevalence of these bot raids going forward.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.