Twitch bans over 7 million bots that contribute to artificially inflated numbers

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Source: Globo Esporte

THESE FAKE ACCOUNTS WERE DETECTED THROUGH “CONTINUOUS MACHINE LEARNING,” SAID TWITCH.



Twitch has largely banned 7,5 million bot accounts that have contributed to “increased false engagement” on the platform, the company said.

Most of these fake accounts are involved in follow-botting or view-bots, which breaks Twitch's Terms of Service. They were detected by “continuous machine learning technology that will continue to improve,” Twitch said on Twitter. The result of this widespread ban could cause the follower or viewer count of some streamers to decrease. Twitch referred affected streamers to an article about fake engagement to learn more.

🛡️ We have been monitoring the rise of fake engagement on Twitch and have identified 7.5MM + accounts that break our TOS by follow-botting and view-botting. We are taking action on these accounts and appreciate all of the reports about this issue.

— Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) April 14, 2021
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False engagement, according to Twitch, is the “artificial inflation of channel stats, such as views or followers, through coordination or third-party tools.” This behavior includes things like follow-botting and view-botting, using accounts controlled by a computer or script to falsify channel stats so they are better than they look. 

Other methods are “Follow 4 Follow” (F4F), “Lurk 4 Lurk” (L4L) and “Host 4 Host” (H4H). In essence, anything that “involves a mutual exchange of interaction aimed at increasing the visibility of [some] channels over those with legitimate interaction” can be determined as artificial channel inflation.


“Artificial engagement and botting limit growth opportunities for legitimate broadcasters and are harmful to the community as a whole,” Twitch wrote in the help article. Streamers who organize or participate in the practice will see “an execution issued on the account”, which may include an indefinite suspension.


This massive bot ban comes at a time when Twitch is cracking down on those who engage in misconduct and harassment, even if the action is done off-platform. The company has also added tools to help streamers deal with copyright attacks.



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