Twitch Streamers Are Taking September 1st Off In Protest of Bot Attacks

New submitter Chaldean42 shares a report from The Verge: On Wednesday, September 1st, a number of channels on Twitch will go dark as streamers participate in #ADayOffTwitch, a walkout designed to bring attention to the ongoing hate and harassment that’s plagued the platform for the last several weeks. […] A Day Off Twitch was born out of the #TwitchDoBetter movement, a hashtag created by streamers affected by the hate raids that have exploded across Twitch in recent weeks. Though the action of bombing a streamer’s chat with racist, sexist, transphobic, and generally abusive messages is not new, the phenomenon has seen a dramatic increase, thanks to users employing bots to overwhelm chats with hundreds of automatically generated messages. In response to what they thought was Twitch’s slow response to the abuse, streamer RekitRaven created the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag to urge the Amazon-owned streaming platform to deploy better tools to stem the tide of harassment.

Twitch has promised that fixes are forthcoming, but in the meantime, streamers are left to contend against the hate raids with community-developed tools and resources. […] The responses to A Day Off Twitch have been varied, even among its supporters. Because of Twitch’s endemic hold on the streaming community, it’s just not feasible for some smaller streamers, arguably the population most affected by hate raids, to take a day off. For some creators, Twitch is their only means of income. Users trying to make or maintain affiliate or partner status — designations that grant creators access to many different methods of monetization — could jeopardize their finances or the health of their channel by taking even one day off. There are also contractual obligations like advertising deals or partnerships that prevent streamers from skipping a day. Other streamers oppose A Day Off Twitch for more philosophical reasons. To them, the people behind these hate raids are working to bully marginalized streamers off the platform, and taking a day off is giving them exactly what they want. Continuing to stream and speaking out against the abuse is therefore the best way to counter trolls who might not otherwise face repercussions for their actions.

A spokesperson for Twitch told The Verge, “We support our streamers’ rights to express themselves and bring attention to important issues across our service. No one should have to experience malicious and hateful attacks based on who they are or what they stand for, and we are working hard on improved channel-level ban evasion detection and additional account improvements to help make Twitch a safer place for creators.”