How to protect yourself from Hate Raids?

So, for quite a while now, a lot of different creators on Twitch have been bombarded with bot attacks and hate raids which is why #StopHateRaids has been trending for ages and one of the reasons why #TwitchDoBetter is still very much relevant. I’ll get into the protective measures later and there’s also a TLDR section at the end,… But first some context: 

For anyone that doesn’t know bots are being used and have been used for ages to spam follower alerts on channels that can’t deal with them, just to annoy people. Similarly, there are aimed attacks at people nowadays where people get raided with dozens of bots that spam slurs, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry and hate speech. There are thousands of bot accounts that get created with nazi symbols and stuff, specifically for that reason: To harass people, ruin their streams and days, and essentially just be a bother. The other part of the #TwitchDoBetter movement is about a lot of bigger streamers using their platform to attack other creators, often streaming women’s and other marginalized creators’ content on their channel, making fun of them, and then sending their community there to harass them further.

When you get hate raided, it can cause a lot of distress, anxiety, and grief. It can ruin your day. It can hurt you deeply. Hence, I (as an LGBTQIA+ streamer who’s the son of refugees and hence also potentially a target) feel for you. I haven’t gone through it yet and I truly do not hope that I go through that… But what I do hope is that I can help people and provide some information on what tools are available already on Twitch and what you can do to deal with a situation like that when it arises. You’re heard. You’re appreciated. Stay strong! You got this!

Either way, what do you do when you get a hate raid or anything like that? How can you protect yourself from it? What can you do to prevent your community from suffering? Well, while Twitch hasn’t done much yet to prevent these hate raids, there are ways to deal with it when it happens and you can very much prepare for it.

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.

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.

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.

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.

So, before I end this post… A quick summary as to what you can do or rather… a TLDR section!

  • Enable E-Mail Verification in the settings!
  • Separate Follower Alerts from other Alerts to be able to disable them in case you get follow-botted. Remove the bot followers after the stream using this tool here.
  • Have Emote Only, Follower Only, Slow Mode, and Clear Chat ready for use in case you need it!
  • Ban harassers but also report them later! Make sure they get removed from Twitch to stop them from harassing other people.
  • I know it sounds stupid but… Try to stay calm. Tell your community to hold on for a little bit. Take actions. Move on. Try to not give them too much attention. It sounds stupid but I think that most of the motivation for these people comes from seeing people get angry or sad.
  • Remember that you’re loved and appreciated. Your community is there for you. And if you need someone else, I am there for ya, too. If you need to reach out and vent, rant or talk about it, feel free to reach out to me. My Discord handle is MagiWasTaken#4357 and my Twitter Handle is MagiWasTaken. I’m here for ya if you need someone. 

At last, here are some people that have gotten hate raided in the past few weeks to days and I’d love it if they got some love and support! Hence, shoutouts to:

Thanks for reading this far! I hope I was able to help somehow and provide a bit of insight into what you can do to deal with these things and how you can prepare for them or prevent them at least partially. This post took ages to write as I wanted to make sure that everything that I can think of is in there and that everything is effective and works and all of that. It pains me to see some of my friends (like Emma and Murphy up there) suffer like this because of the frequent hate raids and all of that and I just want it to stop soon, so… Hopefully, I’m able to help at least a little bit. Sadly, Hate Raids are a thing and Twitch has yet to add some features to deal with them even better or to prevent them in the first place. Hence, please hold on. I know that the situation sucks but you’re heard, you’re appreciated and I want you to stay strong. Take care of yourself! All the love and hugs.

Cheers!

This post is part of the Blaugust 2021 event. For more information on that, check out this post!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

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