Contents

Protecting Your Twitch Chat From Hate Raids


Introduction

Hello friends! This blog post will be going over ways to help prevent un-wanted situations in your Twitch chat as a streamer. Some of this may be “common knowledge” to long time streamers so if you would like to skip to a specific topic, check out the collapsible table of contents above!

Within the past few months over on Twitch, we have seen an increase in instances of hate raids, bot follows, harassment/bullying during stream, and we have even personally witnessed and have been a part of the receiving end of a DDoS Attack that has shut down a friend’s stream due to their router being attacked.

While we can advocate for Twitch to do better to protect us using the #TwitchDoBetter and participating in the Day Off Twitch on September 1st, there are steps that we can take to educate and prepare ourselves for these problems. We hope this post help those who have communities know how to prevent un-wanted situations, especially those of marginalized creators such as POC, LGBTQIA+, and disabled streamers who are disproportionately affected and targeted by these problems.

Twitch chat

URLs in chat

URLS or links in chat are a great way to share external things that chat is currently discussing, but allowing just anyone to post links can lead to a lot of damage for the streamer and the community. Depending on the link, it can lead you to a site that will give you a virus or could even steal your IP address (Learn more about IP addresses from this article by the cyber security company Kaspersky). If you think your IP address has been stolen be sure to contact your internet service provider as soon as possible. When we had our IP stolen, we were able to contact 24/7 support and pick up our new router and modem the next day. An attacker can use your IP address to perform a DDoS attack along with possibly gathering personal information like the city you live in. People who perform these attacks craft a URL that may look like a normal and safe address, but is actually their own personal site that steals your information.

Fake URL example:

Because of the font being used, the two links may look the same. The second lnstagram starts with a lower-case “L.” Attackers will use look-a-like letters or website domains that look “official” as the starting point to the attacks. Many of us are familiar with bots that post links such as “bigfollows.com.” There are a few different routes for a streamer to take depending on how they want to handle URLs.

Twitch Settings

There are a lot of useful settings in the Creator Dashboard that we recommend you take the time to go through and be aware of. As your channel grows these settings may need to be tweaked.

Moderation

On the left sidebar Go to Settings > Moderation to see your current moderation settings.

Moderation Settings on a web browser.

AutoMod Controls

General information for Automod can be found here.

AutoMod Rulesets

AutoMod does a great job of catching chat messages that may not be suitable for your channel. Increase the level of AutoMod based on how family friendly you want to be or if you want to review all “risky” messages. Increasing the level will increase the amount of work the streamer and/or the mods will have to do because they will need to accept or deny message more frequently.

We personally have ours set to level 2 for reference.

Permitted + Blocked terms and phrases

If there are terms you want to always pass through or to always be reviewed you can set them in your settings under ““moderation” and then under “blocked terms and phrases.” We only have the classic “bigfollows.com” message blocked in our chat right now due to the annoying bots that come in and try to paste that in chat.

Before adding anything such as your personal information to blocked terms please be sure read this Reddit post by u/jakuu (found through the tweet below) that goes over why it’s important not to add any personal information to this field.

Do add slurs and other terms you do not want to see in chat. Please do not spend a lot of time entering un-wanted language. Yes, this does help and stop chat conversations from posting these words. However, when a streamer gets a hate raid or multiple bot accounts start to spam they get crafty with their messages by using similar letters or words that look or sound like inappropriate words, similar to to the fake URL example mentioned earlier. The following video on twitter by thomsimonson does a fantastic job of showing how easy it is for attackers to craft messages using look-a-like non-english letters.

Twitter user ShawnJPG posted a great Twitter thread for protecting Twitch + Discord chat when we started to writing this post and it has a lot of great ideas that we will be sharing and referencing throughout this article!

Chat Options

Here is one route to take for making sure links are safe in your community. Turning this on will remove all links unless posted by you, moderators, admins, and VIPs. Reminder, having some sort of security on URLs is a MUST! This will protect yourself and other community members from malicious cyber attacks.

We use StreamLabs Cloudbot for link filtering. Only mods and ourselves can post links. The only type of link that chat can post are twitch clips which we enabled via white list in the bot settings. If a link is posted, the URL is removed and our bot mentions that you may post it in our discord or whisper a mod the link to review and post in chat for you. Something to consider is that some marginalized creators have been targeted through the language in titles of twitch clips being posted in their chat, so the clip url can continue to remain blocked or can be whitelisted, based on what you feel is right at the time.

This enables all users in our chat to share Twitch clips

Non-Mod Chat Delay

Helps streamers and mods catch risky messages before the rest of the chat can see them. This will give the team a window to respond quicker before the rest of chat will see a message.

We currently have this turned off.

Channel Priviledges

Email Verification

Turning this option on is highly recommended. This will help reduce the amount of spam/throw away accounts by making it so the use must have a verified email to chat.

Under moderation and channel privleges you will find this option

Chat Rules

Come up with a set of chat rules that users will see before typing into your chat for the first time. It may be useful to also post your chat rules in a panel in your about section so chatters can reference them later on if needed.

As time goes on and were always reassessing our rules to make our community safe and inclusive. As of writing here are our rules that you can reference, use, or adapt for your channel. Many of the rules included are from the Good Luck Have Fun Pledge that we signed from AnyKey!

A panel in our about section

Unban Requests

If this is turned on, a user that has been banned has the option to submit an un-ban request. This gives the banned user a chance to either explain themselves or make things right. Both streamer and mods can approve or deny requests. If you do not want your mods making these decisions, you can communicate with them to not take action alone or remove the option in the Edit Mod View.

We have this turned on. We believe users should have an option to appeal a ban.

Followers-only mode

This mode will force users to follow your channel to chat. There is an additional option to set the amount of time they need to follow to send a message.

We have this turned off unless we were to be hit by a hate raid. This is an option you can turn on through the mod view or by typing /followers in your chat. You can also set the number of minutes an user must have been following for before chatting by typing /follwers followed by the number of minutes you would like to set such as /followers 10 to allow only users who have been following for at least 10 minutes to chat. You can turn this off by typing /followersoff.

Subscriber-only chat

This mode will only allow subscribers and moderators to message in chat.

We have this turned off. This is an option you can turn on through the mod view or by typing /subscribers in your chat. You can turn this off by typing /subscribersoff.

Moderator tools in chat

This will give your moderators more tools and resources to help moderate your chat.

We have this turned on.

Banned Chatters

Clicking this will show a table that displays banned users, who banned them, and the date they were banned. If you want to unban a user you can do it here or use the /unban [username] command in your twitch chat.

Hate Raids

What are hate raids?

Hate raids have been around on Twitch for a long time, but in the last few months they have become more prevalent and haters are becoming more crafty. Streamer and Twitch partner Deere was talking about hate raids being a problem back in 2019.

Deere is a DBD Fog Whisperer and Drag Queen that has streamed on Twitch since 2016

The hater’s aim is to target creators with hateful comments, specifically marginalized creators who are disproportionately affected by these attacks. It is shameful that Twitch has not taken steps to protect creators in years past and has allowed things to escalate to this point. To combat this, every streamer we know including ourselves will be participating in A Day Off Twitch and will not be streaming or even visiting Twitch.tv on September 1st.

We highly encourage you all to take place in this as well and to voice your support for marginalized creators and others doing the same by alerting your audience with the #ADayOffTwitch on your socials.

How to deal with them

If you are ever in situation where you are raided or multiple accounts start to spam hateful messages, do your best to remain calm. The attackers are looking for a reaction out of the streamer and the chat. Remember to take a deep breath and that your community is there to support you.

Try to speak with your mods before stream if you have them and try to make a personal plan for what to do if you are targeted. If you are in a stream that is targeted, do not interact with the haters and either send a message of general support in chat or try to change the subject to give the streamer something to talk about while they take the necessary steps to protect their community.

Chat Commands

There are a series of chat commands that will help lock your chat down and can help keep your community safe from interacting with the haters during the situation. Execute any or all of the following commands in your chat to help.

  • /clear clears the chat history

  • /followers 10 turns on followers of 10 + minutes only mode

  • /subscribers turns on subscriber only mode

  • /uniquechat prevents chatters from spamming the same message. Does not apply to emotes.

  • /emoteonly turns on emote only mode

    • 10 means the account has to been following for at least 10 minutes to send a message
    • Other examples include 30, 1 week, 5 days 12 hours
    • Must be less than 3 months

    All of these can be reversed by typing the reverse with “off” added to the end, for example /emoteonlyoff turns off emote only mode.

Raid Settings

You can prevent other Twitch streamers from hate raiding you directly by changing your raid settings to only allow raids from friends, teammates, and followed channels under settings > stream > raids in your creator dashboard. This could be a good idea to enable for extra safety, at least for the time being.

We should note that while this will protect you from direct hate raids, it will not protect you from hate raids organized outside of Twitch. Many hate raiders have been organizing outside of Twitch in places like Discord. They plan a message and come in to streams at a predetermined time on an alternate account to avoid their main account being banned from Twitch. If this happens to you, the chat commands listed above will be especially helpful.

  • Special thanks to our friend Kierisi for reminding us to add this. Kierisi also streams R coding on Twitch so be sure to check her out!

Offline Threats

There has been a lot of concern in the last few days about offline hate raids with rumors of streamers being held liable for messages in their chat even while offline. This screenshot has been shared across Twitter and Discord many times.

While we have enabled “/emoteonly” in our own chat, it seems as though it may not really be a concern according to @zachbussey on Twitter.

For peace of mind, it’s a great function to be aware of and we will be utilizing emote only chat while offline for now.

Extra helpful tools

Command Root

Commander Root is a bot and a popular tool for managing your Twitch. You may have seen their name in your viewer list as they collect data for use in their set of tools. They recently released a Chat Ban Manager tool which allows you to connect your Twitch account, copy and paste a list of names, and have them banned all at once.

This is super helpful as it prevents you from having to ban each account individually after a hate raid.

Sery_Bot

Sery_Bot is a bot that was created by SeryCodes to help combat hate raids.

Simply visit Sery_Bot’s channel and type !join in the chat to add Sery_Bot to your channel. Once you mod Sery_Bot in your own chat (This can be done by typing /mod Sery_Bot in your own channel’s chat) you are able to type !hateraidon to quickly enable sub-only mode, clear chat, and post a message about hate raids. This can be used until the threat is gone and then simply typing !hateraidoff can reverse these actions and bring chat back to normal mode.

Sery_bot has a few other abilities that help protect your community. The following steps will require you to give Sery_Bot authorization to link to your account.

Authorize Sery_Bot here: https://sery.codes/twitchapi/authenticate

In your twitch chat type the commands for the actions you want Sery_Bot to take. Commands and descriptions copied from Sery_Bot’s Twitch

  • !followban - Enables the bot to ban and block known bots upon follow
  • !offlinelock - Enables the bot to automatically turn on emote and sub only when you go offline
  • !streameraccount - This gives the bot permission to use YOUR account to ban bots in your stream. This is optional, but helps ensure the bot stays alive.

These commands have made streaming easier as it will ban and block known bots that follow your twitch channel without you or your mods having to do anything.

Follow SeryCodes for updates and changes to the bot. He is working to improve this bot daily for a large amount of people. Review other commands and information about the bot in the bot’s about section on Twitch.


We will be continuing to update this post with new information as we learn! Please feel free to contact us about anything you think we should add through our socials which can be found here. If you would like to support more posts like this in the future our ko-fi can also be found here.

Stay safe friends!