Twitch says it banned more than 15 million bot accounts from the platform in 2021, largely as part of its efforts to curb hate raids.
Hate raids, in which bad actors storm a channel with harassment, usually target creators from marginalized backgrounds, and rely on bots to amplify their effects. Twitch's Vice President of Global Trust and Safety, Angela Hession, discussed the steps Twitch has taken to combat these raids in a blog posted Tuesday.
"[In the past 12 months] our community experienced some of the most vicious attacks ever seen against streamers — particularly streamers of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and military vetereans," Hession wrote. "This kind of behavior has no place on Twitch and we know there's more we can do to protect our community, which is what I want to talk about today."
Hession said hate raids are typically orchestrated by "highly determined bad actors," but that understanding them doesn't necessarily make them easy to fix. That said, Twitch has removed more than 15 million bot accounts, dealing a blow to hate raiders. The site has also added new technology on the back-end and tools streamers themselves can use to prevent hate raids, such as phone-verified chat.
"We're continuing to work on sitewide proactive detection updates, as well as pursuing legal action against individuals who carried out many of the attacks," Hession said.
In 2022, Twitch plans to improve the user reporting and appeals process, share more information on how streamers can use the Suspicious User Detection feature, update its sexual content policy and Safety Advisory Council, and more and better content on its Safety Center.
"Thank you for your time, your patience, and your trust," Hession closed. "We'll work even harder in 2022 to build upon that trust and make sure Twitch stays the best place online to build your community."