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Published: March 30, 2022

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • They partnered with Color of Change to make their voices clear
  • This action stems from the unmet demands from the “Day off Twitch” campaign last year
  • The streamers want better protection for marginalized content creators

After wising cases of hate raids on Twitch, several black content creators have partnered with Color of Change to send the company an open letter criticizing its lack of action.

A Resurging Wave of Hate Raids

Hateful speech on the internet is nothing new and popular platforms such as Twitch are certainly not an exception. Streamers sometimes become victims of targeted hate attacks and spam. This is why several popular black Twitch streamers have partnered up with the advocacy group Color of Change, an organization focused on racial discrimination. Together they have laid out several demands to improve conditions for creators on the platform.

The roots of this movement are not anything new. Twitch hate raids have existed ever since the platform itself, but at a point last year they seemed to reach a boiling point. Things got so bad that many content creators started the Day Off Twitch campaign, an event with the goal that the Amazon-owned company improves systems on the website to protect its marginalized creators. A result of that action was that Twitch implemented phone verification as a means of security against hate and spam bots. However, it seems that in recent times there is once again a rise in hate raids.

What Does the Letter Read?

Color of Change and the black streamers it has partnered with sent an open letter to Twitch, in which they state that the company had not done enough to protect content creators after initial hate raids. “Many Black streamers have since experienced adverse mental health effects and were even afraid to turn on their computers,” reads the letter. Even before this letter was drafted, Twitch has claimed to listen to creators to combat hate. However, “it still has not offered a timeline for when these demands will be met, if at all,” the letter’s writers say.

There seems to have been a significant rise in hate raids last month, which prompted the writing of this letter. It claims that these three demands were left unmet after the first Day Off Twitch campaign:

  • Improved algorithmic and human content moderation practices, especially for Black creators who are featured on the Front Page.
  • Organizational roles and policies that aid and advocate for Twitch users suffering from racial harassment.
  • Commitment to conduct a racial equity audit that would allow Twitch to identify areas of growth and eliminate any manifestation of bias, discrimination, or hate across its products and as an employer.

To support the letter’s message, Color of change also created a video, explaining the negative experiences of iamBrandon, A_TypicalQueer, RealMamaEagle, and ItsLadyKit.

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