Twitch and toxic raids: what can streamers do?


Although in general Twitch is a very interesting platform, even those who do not know it at all can imagine that it has its lights and also its shadows. Some of the most questionable points depend, of course, on the management of those responsible. In recent times we have spoken, for example, of her problems with the rights managers , and also of how she chose to contradict herself and her own rules with the controversy of the pools .

However , we cannot blame Twitch for everything that happens on the platform , since other problems are caused by its users, who on more occasions than might be expected, adopt behaviors that are, to say the least, regrettable. In this regard, Twitch can establish rules, and later, that is, in a punitive way, it can ban accounts. What is much more complex is that it is able to anticipate events and, for example, ban accounts preventively.

If you are not a Twitch user, you are probably wondering what a raid is. We are talking about the moment in which a streamer that is live, either because it is going to end or as part of its content , takes or invites all the public that is watching it to another channel to go . As a general rule, raids are appreciated, and in some cases they are also carried out between streamers who know and trust each other, for example, sending their viewers to the “victim’s” chat to repeat a previously chosen phrase, or to speak on a specific topic.

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Thus, it can happen that you find yourself so calm watching your favorite channel when, suddenly, the chat is filled with people who repeat the same phrase or phrases over and over again . There are also users who self-organize to act like this. Some warn before entering the channel, even seen cases in which they ask for permission (they are usually identified as copypasters ) and, for a few minutes, flood the channel’s chat with their phrases.

Twitch and toxic raids: what can streamers do?

The idiosyncrasy of Twitch is quite particular. Something like this in many other services would be, directly, considered some type of attack (like a kind of distributed denial of service to chat), but in reality, on many occasions, it is usually interpreted as something positive and welcome. A clear example of this are the raids that Ibai does at the end of some live shows, in which tens of thousands of people go to channels that may have even fewer than 10 viewers. The illusion of the streamers is such in those cases that some even burst into tears of emotion at the visibility obtained .

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The problem is that raids are not always like this. Sometimes, either encouraged by another streamer or organizing themselves, they decide to approach Twitch channels to fill the chat with messages insulting the streamer , their community, inciting hatred and violence, etc. As a viewer, unfortunately, I have already experienced it on some occasions, and yes, it is as unpleasant as it seems, sometimes even more.

First in the Anglo-Saxon world, and later in the rest of the world, in recent weeks this type of raids, commonly called toxic raids, have experienced a sudden increase on Twitch, sowing chaos in live shows and concern in streamers , who do not want to see their live shows interrupted and their communities silenced in the live chats.

I also moderate on Twitch, so I have some experience managing these situations. As a general rule when it happens, the first thing you do is put the chat in “Followers only” mode , so that those who have just entered and do not follow the channel cannot participate. The next step is to increase the block, making only followers with a minimum age can do it. This prevents everyone from following the channel as they arrive and starting to bombard the chat. The third option is to put the chat in “Subscribers only” mode, so that only those who pay a monthly support fee to the channel can continue writing in the chat.

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The larger a Twitch channel is, the larger its moderation team tends to be, so on large and very large channels the response is usually almost instantaneous. The problem comes when we talk about channels that are not so large, and especially if we look at the smallest ones , since it is possible that at the moment in which a toxic raid occurs there is not an active moderator monitoring the chat.

Twitch and toxic raids: what can streamers do?

An interesting solution for this case is found in The Verge , where after talking with several Twitch streamers, they have come up with the solution that more and more people use, and that they have come to call “The panic button . ” And what does it consist of? Well, to configure a macro, either on devices such as Elgato StreamDeck and similar, or with a software solution, which offers them quick access to all the measures they want to take to prevent a toxic raid from ending the activity in the chat.

Although both the sequence and the parameters of the macro will depend on the preference of each streamer, there are some commands that will be very useful to concatenate in said action:

  • Chat in followers only mode : preferably 10-15 minutes old. The attackers will surely get tired of waiting and go where they came from.
  • Chat in slow mode : While the goal is to keep legitimate viewers talking normally, they are likely to “get excited” and want to respond to attackers, engage in conversation about the attack, and so on. With slow mode, for example set to 30 or even 60 seconds, the streamer will be able to prevent this from happening.
  • Disable notifications : as in bot attacks, notifications can also be used in toxic raids to annoy. Disabling Twitch notifications will prevent attackers from being able to get away with it.
  • Advertising : This measure seems especially ingenious to me. Streamers with the rank of affiliate or partner can launch ad inserts during their live shows. And what better way to make the crusts that have just arrived to annoy you, leave without achieving their goal and also have had to see an ad, which redounds to the benefit of the streamer? It’s a little twisted, and I admit I love it.

Obviously, it is possible to invoke all these functions through the Twitch commands and menus, the problem is that when faced with a toxic raid, it is normal to get nervous and doubt about how to act . However, having a panic button will not only provide peace of mind to the streamer, and therefore also to his audience, but will also allow him to give an automatic and immediate response in these circumstances.

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