Twitch goes legal in the fight against bot-sellers

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In a blogpost at Twitch, senior vice president of marketing Matthew DiPietro highlighted the company’s efforts to get rid of all manner of bots that are being exploited by a “small minority” and have created a “very real” problem for the Twitch community. It’s a problem that Twitch are trying to combat.

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Their weapon of choice? They’re lawyering up. in an effort to halt the advance of the bots on Twitch’s network of streamers, they’ve started legal proceedings against seven of the most prominent sellers of these botting services. You can see the full legal text here but it throws around a lot of scary words like fraud, cybersquatting and trademark infringement.

DiPietro describes this legal action as the third layer in Twitch’s bot defences, with the first being automated detection and the second being Twitch’s moderation and support teams.

The bots highlighted are view-bots, follow-bots and chat impersonation bots, and they’re used to artificially boost the engagement statistics for a given channel by, well, pretending to view, follow, and chat to create the impression a channel is more popular than it is.

DiPietro says these are often used by streamers who think these higher stats will help them find success or Twitch partnership sooner, or by others looking to harass broadcasters or other more malicious things.

He ends his blog post, which you can read here, with a clear statement: “Ultimately though, the best way to stop viewbot sellers from profiting off of empty promises is to not buy their services. Using viewbots hurts anyone using them on their own channel or found to be using them against other channels, as well as the Twitch community at large.”