#TwitchDoBetter Calls Platform’s Actions Against Racist Hate Raids "Inadequate"

Hate raids on Twitch have been an issue for some time now. Despite promises from Twitch last year, they're now in the headlines again, as Black and LGBTQ+ streamers in particular face coordinated attacks while live. Once again, Twitch is being told that it must take greater action against abusers using its platform.

#TwitchDoBetter, a campaign organized by marginalized streamers, has penned an open letter, calling on Twitch to "address its complicity in anti-Black racism". They call the service's celebration of Black History Month "performative", and says that it must start "working directly with impacted Black creators to determine which policy and procedural changes are needed to improve their safety".

As explained in the letter (thanks, gameindustry.biz), #TwitchDoBetter was formed in summer 2021, when many Black and LGBTQ+ creators found their streams frequently spammed with racial slurs, and in some instances, even their real-life address. If streamers put filters in place to stop the racist language, the abusers would instead use bot accounts to mass-follow them while they're live, slowing the stream down to the point where it is impossible to continue.

To stop this from happening again, #TwitchDoBetter sent the service its demands. They include creators being able to liaise with Twitch staff about safety measures, and how well they're working, as well as improved human and AI moderation for Black creators featured on Twitch's home page. Twitch is also called on to assess its own racial equality in the workplace, to get rid of internal issues stopping these changes from taking place.

Since last summer, Twitch has only acted upon one of the group's demands – requiring chat users to verify their account via mobile phone. They say this is not enough.

"While Twitch claims to be 'listening to creators and building solutions to help stop unwanted harassment,' it still has not offered a timeline for when these demands will be met, if at all", the letter reads. "Twitch has shown repeatedly that it is not willing to be transparent and cares more deeply about its public image than the safety of Black streamers. And, Black History Month 2022 is no different."

Twitch has yet to respond to this statement. However, it is aware of the recent wave of hate raids, and is banning accounts found to be taking part in them.

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