It’s no secret that Twitch has a problem with viewbots, which are fake viewers that artificially inflate streamers’ numbers. They’ve been part of the ecosystem for years, both as a means of making streamers look more popular than they are and, more recently, a tool trolls use maliciously to try to bring Twitch’s punitive wrath down on streamers they don’t like. Twitch, for its part, only acknowledged the issue sporadically. Until this week.
Many Twitch streamers have YouTube channels, and vice versa. They also have Twitter pages, Instagrams, TikToks, SnapChats, and basically every other kind of account under the sun. For years, Twitch has taken activity on other platforms into account when deciding to suspend or ban streamers, albeit inconsistently—and typically only when an infraction had also happened on Twitch or to another Twitch streamer. Now it’s trying to turn off-platform activity into a cornerstone of its moderation approach, partnering with a third-party law firm to investigate off-platform threats, sexual assault, and other forms of harassment and violence.
Today, Twitch banned and de-partnered Ali “Gross Gore” Larsen, a longtime streamer and subject of controversy, after sexual assault allegations old and new came to light last weekend.