When dealing with users doing unwanted activities, platforms may simply ban them, or send them a warning.
Most of the time, those users will start realizing their mistake, and at least become abide to the rules. For users on social media, there is nothing more important than their followers. And losing one's account can be a disaster. In other words and in most cases, doing simple things should be able to take put things under control.
But that fact does not apply to Twitch, the popular gaming platform among gamers.
The company is taking a big stand against the organized harassment campaigns, widely known as "hate raids,” that have been plaguing and increasing in numbers over the past few months.
Twitch has what it calls the 'Raid' feature, which allows streamers to redirect their viewers elsewhere to other stream. And here, the "hate raiders" have been abusing the feature, to harass other's channels with hurl slurs, insults, and obscenities.
Twitch wants to stop this, by filing a suit on September 9th, against two possible coordinators of the hate raid attacks.
While Twitch has been dealing with harassment issues for years, it only got bigger recently.
It started on September 1, when Twitch users take the action to their own hands, and started boycotting the platform for a day.
That #ADayOffTwitch campaign gave an impact, which plummeted the platform's traffic significantly to about a fifth of normal.
In an attempt to defend itself, Twitch has measures to mitigate those hate raiders. From algorithms to help it find people who post offensive things, to algorithms to detect users who evade bans, for example.
Twitch can also ban offenders individually, through manual processes.
But the hate raids continued, as the owners of the banned accounts created new and more accounts, overwhelming Twitch.
In one desperate attempt to thwart those offenders, the company is launching the biggest ban hammer of them all, and that is legal approach by suing them through the U.S. court system.
The two offenders Twitch is suing, are two anonymous individuals who operate under the usernames CruzzControl and CreatineOverdose.
The suit alleges that the two users helped promote, organize, and engage in hate raids on a large scale.
The two also operates hate raids that goes beyond Twitch, and to Discord, where they can continue their harassment, but away from Twitch's scrutiny.
Twitch believes CruzzControl is operating in the Netherlands, while CreatineOverdose is operating from Austria.
Both of these users operate under a variety of usernames, and create new Twitch accounts as soon as one of the ones they own gets banned.
CruzzControl for example, is believed to operate at least 3,000 bots associated with the hate raids.
"While we have identified and banned thousands of accounts over the past weeks, these actors continue to work hard on creative ways to circumvent our improvements, and show no intention of stopping," explained a Twitch spokesperson in a statement.
"Hate and harassment have no place on Twitch, and we know we have a lot more work to do — but we hope that these combined actions will help reduce the immediate and unacceptable harm that targeted attacks have been inflicting on our community."
And in this case, Twitch is suing the two for “targeting Black and LGBTQIA+ streamers with racist, homophobic, sexist and other harassing content in violation of its terms of service.”
“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.”