How To Protect Yourself From Hate Groups While Streaming On Twitch

The Problem

For the last week or so on Twitch, there has been a big problem with racist trolls coming into streams and harassing viewers just for being themselves. There have been many instances of them not only harassing people in streams, but also harassing people in their discords. This happened to me about a month ago. This problem is starting to become a larger and more prevalent and consistent problem among minority streamers.

Twitter user @itsmeTroi had a hate group raid her chat

These racist trolls aren’t a new problem unfortunately. BlackGirlGamers has had a lot of problems with these hate groups coming into their stream, as well as other streamers that had a tag identifying themselves as a black girl streamer.

Twitter user @KayIs_Better was also raided by the same group

My Experience

A month ago, I was streaming and a couple people came into my stream and used the command !discord. By using this command, a link to my discord came in. I, like other streamers, was new to setting up my discord, and I did not know all of the settings I needed to set up. Truthfully, I’m still working on it, but I have taken many steps to mitigate the damage and to keep my discord safe from these trolls.

When these racist people came into my discord, they used the text to speech feature and had it read off “fuck n—- kill n—- lynch n—-” and this went on and on and on. Since I was streaming from my pc, this was shouting through my pc, and in turn shouting through my stream. Although I didn’t get flustered, due to the fact that I have to deal with racist individuals on a regular basis, I did not know how to get this to stop happening.

What did I do?

Thankfully, another streamer named Cheffa came in, and told me to disable the audio on my desktop, and then walked me through turning off the text to speech feature as well as helped me set up rules that people without a role cannot speak or see anything until I have personally put them in a role.

Another step I have taken as well in my channel is there is no longer a !discord command. By getting rid of this command, trolls no longer have the ability to pull up the link to my discord. I also turned it off of the automatic timer as well, because I had initially forgotten to do that as well.

Twitch has various settings that you can apply to your channel. If you would like to turn off raids from different people, Twitch has a setting for that. You have the opportunity to limit raids from people that you follow or are on your twitch team. You can also stop raids from people you don’t know. Personally I allow raids from everyone, because I like searching other people playing the same game I am and raiding them, and meeting new streamers in the process.

Another measure of safety that I have taken is that if someone wants my discord link, I have it under a different command that only I can do, not my mods. This is just another step of protecting myself. I trust my mods, but I want to be able to decide whether to pm the person if I don’t know many of the viewers currently watching or if I decide that hey, everyone in my chat has been great and they can come in, and then I will personally give them a role.

Discord Safety

I have also changed the security rules for people being able to join my discord. At first, I was afraid of having rules too stringent that it would be a hindrance to getting people to join my discord. I was afraid of putting requirements in that the account age had to be a certain amount of time or they needed to have a verified email would stop people from downloading discord and joining mine. At this point, my supporters and other people that would like to join my discord will understand why I had to do this and will definitely support my efforts to protect myself as well as protecting the safety and inclusiveness of my discord space.

In terms of my twitch stream, I have learned a lot of valuable information from The Cookout, which is a supportive group of streamers that was founded by DennyVonDoom. One of the most valuable things that DennyVonDoom shared was a list of commands that are extremely useful in case you are raided by one of these hate groups.

List of Twitch Chat Commands

  • R9KBeta
    • This command disallows users from posting non-unique messages to the channel. It will check for a minimum of 9 characters that are not symbol unicode characters and then purges and repetitive chat lines beyond that. R9K is a unique way of moderating essentially allowing you to stop generic copy-pasted messages intended as spam.
      • Usage: /r9kbeta
  • R9KBetaOff
    • This command will disable R9K mode if it was previous enabled on the channel
      • Usage: /r9kbetaoff
  • Emoteonly
    • This command allows you to set your room so only messages that are 100% emotes are allowed
      • Usage: /emoteonly
  • Emoteonlyoff
    • This command allows you to disable emote only mode if you previously enabled it
      • Usage: /emoteonlyoff
  • Slow
    • This command allows you to set a limit on how often users in the chat room are allowed to send messages (rate limiting.)
      • Usage: /slow <seconds>
        • Note: Twitch Partners with a Subscription Button can allow their Subscribers to bypass the slow mode filter if they  so wish to do so by going to their dashboard and navigating to their subscription tab
  • Slowoff
    • This command allows you to disable slow mode if you had previously set it.
      • Usage: /slowoff
  • Followers
    • This command allows you or your mods to restrict chat to all or some of your followers, based on how long they’ve followed, from 0 minutes (all followers) to 3 months
      • Usage: /followers
        • Examples include:
          • /followers 30m, or /followers 30 minutes
          • /followers 2h, or /followers 1 hours
          • /followers 2d, or /followers 2 days
          • /followers 1w, or /followers 1 week
          • /followers 3mo, or /followers 3 months
    • Followersoff
      • This command allows you or your mods to disable followers only mode if you previously enabled it.
        • Usage: /followersoff
    • Subscribers
      • This command allows you to set your room so only users subscribed to you can talk in the chat room. If you don’t have the subscription feature, it will only allow the Broadcaster and the channel moderators to talk in the chat room.
        • Usage: /subscribers
    • Subscribersoff
      • This command allows you to disable subscribers only mode if you previously enabled it.
        • Usage: /subscribersoff
    • Clear
      • This command will allow the Broadcaster and chat moderators to completely wipe the previous chat history.
        • Usage: /clear
          • Note: Users with IRC or browser add-ons may not see the chat get wiped due to history saving features and logging.

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