So, hey there!
I’m Magi aka Dan (he/him) and I’m a rather new member of Team IQ. On top of streaming, I run a blog over at Indiecator where I write about Indie Games, other titles, new releases, Reviews, and also streaming-related content. In essence, it’s a passion of mine to write articles on there. The other day, I published a post/guide on safety measures that I know may help ya out in case you’re afraid of potential hate raids and bot attacks. You can find that post over here. And well, since I don’t really care about the traffic or anything, I figured it’d be fun to write a post on here and share what I covered there with ya just in case you may not know a trick or two here. So, for more details on the matter check out the post linked up there and otherwise, it will basically just get covered here in a shorter form.
So, first up… Context! What is a Hate Raid? Why do they exist? What forms of hate raids do exist?
Essentially, it’s a “raid” done by bots and bot accounts but also by users at times in which the participants (human or not) spout hate speech and slurs in your chat to harass you, your community, and maybe even get you banned if you can’t or don’t moderate your chat. It’s been happening to a lot of people before but it’s become more extreme lately. There are also other forms of bot attacks like automated one-man raids that are quite annoying, as well as follow-botting and automated hosts where bots are used to trigger you. Twitch is “a bit” slow in the response to this and hasn’t been communicating at all, which is why #StopHateRaids, #TwitchDoBetter and #ADayOffTwitch have been trending. While the latter has had its impact already, it’s still important to spread awareness on the subject and talk about it with other streamers and your community. Hate speech, Bigotry and Slurs have no place in this place that we all love, after all, right?
Now, what do you do against that?
If you’re getting follower-botted for instance, there are a few things I mentioned in another post I made on raids and if you want to, you can read that, too, but I’ll essentially just mention it here as well. Ironically, I said that “hate raids don’t happen too often” back then, which is sadly no longer true. For starters, I would recommend removing the name from Follower Alerts as a lot of bots tend to have slurs in the name and you’re giving them a platform like that. Similarly, I wouldn’t recommend using TTS for Follower-Alerts for the same reason. What you then can do is also separating the follower alerts from the normal alerts: That way you can just disable the follower alerts in OBS when you get a lot of followers coming in from those bots. After the stream, you can then use this tool here (by CommanderRoot) to remove the bot follows. Anonymous Follower Alerts are also great to stop giving hateful people a platform. I’ve seen people with slurs in their usernames that essentially get a shoutout on screen upon following. Another reason is that a lot of people don’t like being called out, especially when they just follow but are still lurking. Hence, anonymous follower alerts are quite cool in that regard, too, but to each their own, right?
To separate your follower alerts from the actual alerts, you effectively go into Streamelements or Streamlabs or wherever your alerts are being made and create one browser source with just the Follow alerts and then you remove the follower alerts from your usual alert box. That way they do get played at the same time, so removing sounds from Follow Alerts might also be good… But when you get follower-botted, you can simply disable the follower alerts and the raid, sub, bits, giftsub, host, merch and other alerts still get displayed in the alert box!
Next up, I’d recommend having the following commands ready to use when needed:
- /uniquechat – This disables bots and people from spamming the same message over and over again. Sadly, especially the bot raids just add a character before the message to bypass this… but it cuts out a lot of the spam. Once you feel safe, you can use /uniquechatoff to turn it off again.
- /slow [number] – This gives you an easier time to deal with the situation. Slow-Mode essentially makes it so that you can only send a message every x seconds. The default (if you use /slow) is 120 seconds but generally /slow 20 can work quite well. You can turn it off with /slowoff.
- /emoteonly – This activates Emote Only Mode where only emotes can be sent until it’s turned off using /emoteonlyoff. This way text-based hate messages won’t go through and you can start banning the accounts that already sent hateful messages.
- /followers [time] – This activates Follower-Only Chat based on the time that people have followed. Example: /followers 60m -> This means that people need to have followed for one hour before they can chat. This stops further messages from coming in and you can start banning the people/bots that already wrote hate messages. Once you feel safe, you can use /followersoff to turn it off. The time can be adjusted using measures as well. Example: 30s/60m/24h, etc.
- /clear – This deletes all chat history in view (up to 200 lines). It’s rather drastic but can be used after you went through other measures so that you can return to your stream as planned if that’s still possible. So, essentially, you activate unique-chat and follower-only-chat. Then you ban the bots in question. Then you clear the chat.
Emote Only, Follower Only and the Chat Clear can also be found in the “Quick Actions” section of the Dashboard. To access the dashboard, you click on your profile picture in the top right corner of the screen and simply click on “Creator Dashboard”. You can also just go to “dashboard[dot]twitch[dot]tv/u/USERNAME/stream-manager” and insert your username in the appropriate spot… also replace [dot] with an actual period/dot. It’s helpful as you can use that for easy access. You can also add the Quick Actions buttons as a dock in OBS as shown in this video here by the streamer NorthstarUK.
And well, there’s also AutoMod in the “Moderation” tab of the Dashboard. It can be quite hit or miss but you can block a lot of terms and phrases so that those messages get blocked without showing up in the first place. It’s not perfect and it can cause issues but you can block hyperlinks with it as well, which prevents a lot of bots from spamming your chat. What’s more important is that you activate “E-Mail Verification”!! This tool is incredibly powerful since bots are created automatically with throwaway e-mails that they can’t verify. Essentially, you can flick on this setting and it stops all “wanna be famous?” bots as well as potentially a lot of the hate bots. There could still be human harassers, though, as well as more advanced spambots with verified e-mails in theory… but it already limits the impact of these raids when they happen but they cannot actually chat. Now, the issue with that is that you can in theory activate a setting that allows your e-mail to be used by infinite amounts of other accounts… So, you verify one e-mail and you can just create millions of bots using that verified e-mail, which is incredibly frustrating because this feature should technically save you… but it doesn’t work. What I did notice though is that it just helps in general with human trolls and kids on the platform, so I can still recommend it. Hopefully, Twitch limits how many e-mails can be attached to a verified e-mail/any e-mail.
You can also limit who can raid you in the “Stream” section of the Dashboard by only allowing raids by friends, teammates and followed channels or by blocking all raids. This is, however, something I wouldn’t advise personally as it limits discoverability and as a lot of people want to support marginalized creators right now specifically because they get targeted. The issue with this is that people can also just walk in en-masse to your channel from a streamer that has yours open, not using the /raid command… and it won’t get prevented. Meanwhile, the people that want to see you grow, can’t raid you, which sucks… So, this feature is drastic but also very safe. I wouldn’t do it personally.
The most important thing is that you do not only ban the bots and harassers but you also report them. The reason for that is that these bot accounts and harassers can hate raid anyone on Twitch until they get banned or suspended. If they only get banned, they don’t get punished. Hence, you ban them while you’re live and I’d love to ask you to go into the “Moderation” tab of your dashboard and click on “Banned Chatters”. You can then type /user [name] in the chat to pull up the user card. Once you have that up, you can simply click on the three dots at their name and report them for harassment, spam or hate speech. Whatever is applicable in that instance. That way Twitch can actually suspend the accounts and it’s one less scumbag on Twitch. If enough people do that, hopefully, fewer people will get hate raided. Sure, a lot of these “HOSS”, “LUNA”, “SECMO”, or other variations of those names or accounts with random characters get removed from Twitch quickly and they get removed from your activity feed in the process. Still, it’s important to also do your part and report them if they haven’t been removed yet as they can still harm others unless they get suspended by Twitch.
At last, sadly, a lot of these hate raids also can spread into the Discord Servers that you run. I’d recommend setting up a system where you need a special role to be able to chat anywhere and people need to get verified by you/your mods to get assigned that user role in the first place and *earn* the right to chat in the first place.
In essence, that’s about it for my advice. There are other things you can do that other people probably already covered but I think that you can do a lot by not giving bots or hate raiders extra attention and by just staying calm, dealing with it fast and professionally, and telling your community to hold on for a moment while you ban these people and set up follower only mode, etc. What’s very important is to maybe not raid when you’ve been hate raided as some of the hate raiders may still try to spam the raided person’s chat. Another thing that can work out is to add their raid worm/raid message/the same part to the blocked terms.
If you have any questions, let me know! I’m available on Twitter (@MagiWasTaken) or on Discord (MagiWasTaken#4357) but you can also comment on here or on the IQ Discord. Feel free to leave feedback or check out the full post over on my blog if you want to. Either way, stay safe and hydrated!