Twitch vows to fight racist 'hate raids' | Inquirer Technology
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Twitch vows to fight racist ‘hate raids’

/ 05:18 PM August 12, 2021
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Twitch logo application on the screen of a tablet. Image: AFP/Martin Bureau

Video game platform Twitch on Wednesday vowed to battle “hate raids” in response to complaints about harassment of women and players of color.

The Amazon-owned platform for sharing video gameplay and commentary said that it updated filtering tools to better detect hate speech in chat forums and that more improvements are on the way.

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Hate raids involve overwhelming streamer comment boards with abusive remarks, sometimes using automated or “bot” accounts.

“We’ve seen a lot of conversation about botting, hate raids, and other forms of harassment targeting marginalized creators,” Twitch said in a string of tweets.

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“You’re asking us to do better, and we know we need to do more to address these issues.”

The posts came in response to complaints about racist, sexist, and anti-gay onslaughts aimed at Twitch streamers who don’t appear to be straight, white and male.

People targeted with such abuses shared their viewpoints and stories on Twitter with the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter.

Those who shared included Omega Jones, a Twitch streamer who uses the handle @CriticalBard at his channel on the platform.

“People like to act like hate raids and follow bots that say some horrible (things) don’t exist,” Jones said.

He shared a snippet of video on Twitter that showed the chat forum on his screen filling with racist insults as he made his way through a game.

“When marginalized creators on this platform, specifically people of color, tell you that Twitch needs to do better, just listen,” Jones said.

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A Twitch streamer whose profile identified her as bi-racial tweeted that all her friends were being targeted with hate raids and called for the platform to be made safer.

“We’re launching channel-level ban evasion detection and account verification improvements later this year,” Twitch said.

“We’re working hard to launch these tools as soon as possible, and we hope they will have a big impact.”

Twitch added that it is reaching out to streamers to learn more about abuses. IB

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TOPICS: Gaming, harassment, hate speech, Racism, racist, sexism, streamers, streaming, Twitch
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