Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch has sued two of its users who allegedly bombarded people of color and LGBTQ people with racist, sexist and anti-gay content while streaming.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday, targeted two specific users, "Cruzzcontrol" and "CreatineOverdose," who according to Twitch are specifically targeting "streamers from marginalized groups" with "racist, sexist, and homophobic language and content." The live steaming service reportedly said in the filing that it tried suspending and banning the users but they created alternative accounts to avoid being banned.
3,000 Bots of CruzzControl Linked to Several Hate Raids
According to the complaint, CruzzControl and CreatineOverdose, whose real names remain unknown, are based in the Netherlands and Austria respectively. The suit alleges that CruzzControl has explicitly admitted to using bots for the purpose of hate raids. Twitch said that Cruzzcontrol is responsible for 3,000 bots associated with recent hate raids.
The user CreatineOverdose also allegedly "used their bot software to demonstrate how it could be used to spam Twitch channels with racial slurs, graphic descriptions of violence against minorities, and claims that the hate raiders are the KKK."
Cruzzcontrol and CreatineOverdose Evaded Twitch's Bans by Creating New Twitch Accounts
Although the platform first suspended and then permanently banned these users' known Twitch accounts, they allegedly created new accounts and kept changing their "self-described 'hate raid code'" to avoid being found and banned again, the suit said, according to BuzzFeed News.
This lawsuit comes after many marginalized users participated in a one-day day boycott of the platform. According to The Washington Post, the #ADayOffTwitch movement asked for as many streamers as possible to avoid streaming on Sept. 1 to put pressure on Twitch to do something about hate raids.
The Washington Post also reported in August that many victims of hate raids feel they have grown increasingly problematic in recent months.
According to Wired, the company says it has banned thousands of accounts over the last month, created new chat filters, and has been building "channel-level ban evasion detection." In December, it updated its hateful-content and harassment policy to explicitly ban hate groups.
Social Media Reactions
Many internet users believe that Twitch has taken a good decision by suing the two users. One Twitter user said: "This is good to see! However, please be aware that we are likely to see an increase in bots as retaliation. I have already seen an uptick in bot follows on some streams this morning. Be safe!" Another shared, "Twitch still has a LOT of work to, but this is great start on the road to showing people that there's no room for hate on our platform."
One comment read: "Freedom of speech does not mean that you can violate contracts by targeting marginalized people with abuse without consequences from your employer." Another comment read, "The hate raiders are the ones who got money involved when they f*cked with the streamers income." One internet user said, "They are suing trolls like this won't create more trolls."