Twitch sues two users, alleging they led ‘hate raids’

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Illustration featuring purple and pink graphic lines and a Twitch logo

Illustration: Ariel Davis for Polygon

After a monthslong upswell in harassment targeting marginalized streamers, Twitch is suing two users for allegedly conducting so-called hate raids on the streaming platform, in violation of its terms of service.

Twitch’s lawsuit names two defendants, Twitch users CruzzControl and CreatineOverdose, and alleges that they’re responsible for some of the recent “hate raids” on Twitch. The term refers to when malicious actors use the platform’s “raid” function to flood a creator’s chat with hateful messages, often using bot accounts.

In the complaint, which was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Twitch said it has “expended significant resources” to investigate and ban the two users, as well as to implement updated security measures. However, the company said that the two parties continue to engage in “unlawful, fraudulent and highly offensive activities” and violate Twitch’s Terms of Service. The lawsuit was first reported by Wired.

Twitch said it found that the account CruzzControl is “responsible for nearly 3,000 bot accounts associated with hate raids,” and said that both accounts created software code to conduct automated hate raids and to avoid Twitch’s efforts to block the bot accounts from the platform. At the time of filing, Twitch was unable to confirm the identities of the account owners, but said that CruzzControl is in the Netherlands and CreatineOverdose is located in Austria.

“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 to Polygon over email.

Hate and harassment are long-running problems on Twitch, but marginalized creators have reported a recent uptick in harassment and in hate raids targeting them. In response, a group of streamers organized a walkout to protest the rise in hate, and called on the Amazon-owned platform to better protect its marginalized creators.

“It’s a show of good faith by Twitch. So many people have been affected by this and no one who’s committing these acts should feel comfortable with anonymity,” ReketitRaven, an organizer behind the walkout, told Polygon over Twitter. “This issue has many fronts though, and we need to understand that people are still hurting.”

 

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