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Twitch Is Suing Users Who Allegedly Conducted "Hate Raids" On Black And LGBTQ Streamers

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Since early August, Twitch has been wrestling with an epidemic of harassment, known as “hate raids,” against marginalized streamers. These attacks spam streamers’ chats with hateful and bigoted language, amplified dozens of times a minute by bots. On Thursday, after a month trying and failing to combat the tactic, Twitch resorted to the legal system, suing two alleged hate raiders [PDF] for “targeting black and LGBTQIA+ streamers with racist, homophobic, sexist and other harassing content” in violation of its terms of service.

“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 said in a comment to WIRED.

Harassment based on gender, race, and sexuality is not new to the 10-year-old game-streaming platform; however, over the last month, targeted hate raids have escalated. Marginalized streamers receive derogatory messages—sometimes hundreds at a time—like “This channel now belongs to the KKK.” To raise awareness of the hate raids and pressure Twitch to act, thousands of streamers have banded together under hashtags like #TwitchDoBetter and #ADayOffTwitch, a one-day boycott of the service.