Black Streamers Call On Twitch To Do Better Following Spike In Racist Hate Raids

Black Streamers Call On Twitch To Do Better Following Spike In Racist Hate Raids
Images via Twitch

Written by 

Emma Hill


18th Mar 2022 16:04

Following on from a spike in horrific racist hate raids on Twitch during Black History Month, content creators have penned an open letter calling on the platform to make a "more humane and less hostile internet for Black people."

In recent times, Twitch has worked implemented a number of new measures to make it a safe and inclusive platform for all, including eradicating the spread of misinformation and 'inappropriate' usernames. However, this wasn't enough to stop trolls slipping through the cracks and launching a series of distressing hate raids, primarily targeting Black and LGBTQ+ streamers. 

Now, the leaders of the #TwitchDoBetter movement as well as a number of black streamers have appealed directly to the platform to ensure such abuse never reaches the site again. 

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Twitch Sees Spike In Hate Raids Aimed At Black And LGBTQ+ Streamers

Sadly, hate raids aimed towards under-represented groups on Twitch is certainly nothing new. Back in August 2021, creators on the platform became increasingly dissatisfied with how it dealt with hate raids and subsequently formed the #TwitchDoBetter movement. Twitch responded by installing phone verification, which was intended to fight bot accounts that had been used in the raids. 

Yet, it clearly wasn't enough. On March 10, a number of LGBTQIA+ streamers reported that they had received a wave of harassment, supposedly prompted by a creator called "UX" from rival platform CozyTV. To combat the abuse, Twitch announced: "Over the past 24 hours, bad actors have been coordinating off-Twitch to target women and LGBTQ+ members of our community with spammy and hateful chat messages. Hate has no place on Twitch, and we've identified and suspended the Twitch accounts of the individuals participating."

However, many criticised the tweet as it failed to mention the spike in racist abuse suffered by black streamers, particularly in the leadup to and following Black History Month. As a result, they penned an open letter directly appealing to Twitch to do more to stop racist harassment aimed towards black streamers. 

Open Letter From Black Streamers Calls On Twitch To Do More To Stop Abuse

In the letter, the authors of the letter called Twitch's Black History Month "performative" given how it openly celebrated the works of black content creators, yet was seemingly doing very little to actually combat "racist users." The letter also features a bullet point strategy as to what exactly Twitch can do to help fight harassment on the site.

Bringing the letter to a close, the authors concluded: "The celebration of Black brilliance and Black joy should not be limited to February. Twitch should explore ways to boost the discoverability of Black streamers every day, provide support to Black creators featured on the Front Page every time, and ensure that Black creators feel safe doing what we love: streaming with the community we've poured into over the last few years."

The letter, which you can sign here, hasn't had a response from Twitch as of writing. Although, it is quickly gaining recognition and praise online with many content creators wanting to ensure measures are put in place to make sure Twitch is safe to use for everyone.

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