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.
For 31 days, Ludwig Ahgren’s stream has been up and running all day every day. He hasn’t been awake the entire time, but he and his moderators have ensured that it’s grown to be one of Twitch’s most consistent and comforting presences—albeit one that is probably taking a not-insignificant mental and physical toll on everyone involved. Since the beginning, a timer has been counting down to zero, but every time somebody kicks in a subscription, ten seconds get added to the clock. Now Ahgren has more subscriptions than anybody else in Twitch history.