Skip To Content

    Black Creators Are Boycotting Twitch After Facing A Series Of Hate Raids And "Racist Trolling"

    Streamers are boycotting the platform on September 1st.

    Note: This post includes racist and harmful language.

    Twitch, created in 2011 and now owned by Amazon, is one of the largest live streaming platforms that focuses on video games and content creation.

    Amazon / Twitch

    Within the last few months, Black streamers on Twitch have been bombarded with hate raids, where bots flood a streamer's chat with threats, and in these cases, racial slurs. Recently, it's only gotten worse.

    This is part of my live reaction to the hate raid. Normally I’d never show myself as this vulnerable but it’s important for people to hear what I said! If you want to watch the entire thing it starts at 1 hr 22 mins in the below link. #TwitchDoBetter https://t.co/OZBEz0xRtD https://t.co/BWEMQYGzWN

    Twitter: @DefinedByKy

    To bypass Twitch's AutoMod, a tool meant to detect and block inappropriate speech, raiders use symbols to mask their messages. For example, during Twitch affiliate KhamyKilla's livestream, raiders intentionally altered words like "rape" and "aids," changing the spelling to "rap3" and "a1ds," allowing them to use hate speech without being banned from the platform.

    This was just now in @KhamyKilla ‘s chat. @Twitch @TwitchSupport this shows you literally could careless about POC & Black Creators on your platform. We need to put a boycott in place regarding Twitch. i’m not hearing any more excuses. #BoycottTwitch #TwitchDoBetter

    Twitter: @abeltilla

    To bring awareness to the attacks that have been happening for months, streamer RekItRaven started the #TwitchDoBetter movement.

    Let me say this; I love Twitch. I love the community that I built there, the people I've met and the memories I've created. I love achieving milestones I set for myself BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN I HAVE TO ACCEPT BEING TREATED LIKE SHIT ON THE PLATFORM. #TwitchDoBetter #SubOffTwitch

    Twitter: @RekItRaven

    BuzzFeed spoke to Raven, 31, who has been on and off Twitch since 2015 and says that they've been a victim of hate speech throughout their entire time on the platform.

    "The difference this time was that it was very pointed. Instead of blanket racism or hate speech (you're fat, you're Black, you've got boobs), it was 'Hey is a Black goth a Gigger?' My initial reaction was to clap back. I gave them a point for creativity because I hadn't heard that before, but it was just weird to be specifically targeted in such a pointed way."

    TW: Racism. Video for reference of my previous tweet. I'm tired y'all. I'm tired of existing in a space that literally doesn't want me in it. It's more than fucking exhausting.

    Twitter: @RekItRaven

    "A week later it happened again with a message about my channel now belonging to the KKK. I clipped and shared that on Twitter as well and that had even more reach."

    "The day after I was seeing screenshots from others, particularly SoloAimBot, and I had it. It was enough. So many people were sharing the same or similar stories and I decided that it needed to be called out. That's when I started pushing #TwitchDoBetter."

    #TwitchDoBetter 3rd time this week... how much is enough for you to finally do something??? @Twitch @TwitchSupport

    Twitter: @Soloaimbot

    The hashtag picked up steam, and Twitch released a statement promising to create stronger measures to prevent the raids from happening. But creators aren't convinced that it means anything.

    We've been building channel-level ban evasion detection and account improvements to combat this malicious behavior for months. However, as we work on solutions, bad actors work in parallel to find ways around them—which is why we can't always share details.

    Twitter: @Twitch

    "We've heard it before," Raven said. "There is a substantial lack of faith in Twitch's ability to act and these hate raids have escalated into dangerous territory where people are being doxxed. I don't expect to know the tools they're building, but a timeline would be nice. 'Eventually' isn't good enough."

    Hello @twitch I was just follow botted all the way up to 1k after modding for raven you expect us to give you 50% of our money when you don’t uphold protections for your creators??? Bleed purple when you don’t bleed for us?? #TwitchDoBetter

    Twitter: @dynamic_reacts

    Raven said that Twitch even reached out to them and they're planning to meet to discuss what needs to be done to protect streamers. They've coordinated with other streamers to compile a list of demands including round-table discussions with marginalized creators, removing the ability to make more than three accounts under the same email, and transparency in the time frame for implementing new security measures. Creators have also created a Change.org petition calling for these demands and it's gotten over 15,000 signatures.

    I excited to announce that I will be having a meeting with Twitch staff tomorrow to discuss what has been going on!

    Twitter: @RekItRaven

    In the meantime, creators have taken matters into their own hands by setting their streams to follower or sub-only mode, having more moderators keep an eye on things, or using their own bots that will automatically catch and delete derogatory messages and ban the perpetrators.

    It is here! Our brand new Response Tools! Valuable to both Streamers and Moderators--big and small. Anything to add? Jump into the Discord! We're dedicating ourselves to creative solutions for the ever-growing @Twitch hate raids. Share to save a stream! https://t.co/yNgM7YZZpf

    Twitter: @endhateraids

    On September 1st, to continue applying pressure on Twitch, creators RekItRaven, LuciaEverblack, and ShineyPen are coordinating #ADayOffTwitch and are encouraging people to not go live and to avoid going on the platform. Though many have criticized the initiative, claiming it's not enough, Raven argues, "Don't count us out because we're not done. We just have to start somewhere."

    We are continuing the fight. Shout out to @LuciaEverblack and @ShineyPen for helping me with this! #ADayOffTwitch September 1st, don't go live.

    Twitter: @RekItRaven

    In the middle of all of this, Raven has been taking time away from Twitch and social media. "I've taken a pretty considerable amount of time to disconnect. Once I feel my threshold for the day, I back away and leave things in the capable hands of people like ShineyPen who approached me about #ADayOffTwitch and LuciaEverblack who's an absolute gem and is so diplomatic."

    Twitch hasn't posted any updates regarding what they're doing to stop the raids and protect users. But they're encouraging people to continue reporting the attacks as they come in.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form