In August we reported on efforts by streamers to call attention to hate raiding and other forms of harassment targeting Black, POC, and LGBT+ broadcasters on Twitch. The effort culminated in a one day boycott of the platform on September 1st, which we took part in; we even wrote some thoughts about the matter, arguing that while the boycott’s efforts were well-intended, it would likely take more than that for any major changes to be made, and we expressed worry that Twitch and its owning company Amazon would simply let the whole matter blow over.
It appears, however, that some active action is now being taken by Twitch in the form of a lawsuit, which sues two alleged hate raid organizers — “Cruzzcontrol” and “CreatineOverdose,” who are believed to live in the Netherlands and Austria, respectively — with targeting specific streamers with racist and homophobic content in violation of the platform’s terms of service. The lawsuit says that Twitch found the users and banned them initially, but they actively avoided the block by “creating new, alternate Twitch accounts, and continually altering their self-described ‘hate raid code’ to avoid detection and suspension by Twitch.”
While the suit doesn’t specify any dollar amount, it does seek “enhanced, liquidated, compensatory, special, and punitive damages” as well as coverage of the court fees by the two alleged raid organizers. Furthermore, it is hoped this suit is a severe enough deterrent against others, according to a Twitch spokesperson.
“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.”