• On the Twitch platform, women are the first victims of cyberbullying.

  • If the social network seeks to put in place devices against, the streamers face many insults, both on their skills and on their physique.

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    discussed with these streamers the insults encountered, but also their solutions to counter the problem.

Hundreds and hundreds of malicious bots arrived en masse on the same live Twitch.

In the jargon, this is called a hate raid and the streamer Delfea Gaming – followed by 1,400 people – is now used to it.

“A few days ago, 200 bots landed on my channel with very violent nicknames”, tells us the Twitcher.

In order to protect herself from this cyberbullying that has become regular, Delfea has decided to take screenshots of the racist or disability-targeted insults she receives.

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was able to consult them.

Among these pseudonyms, one can read for example “the Nazi”, “she is always there the triso”, or “I kiss your fat nose”.

So to feel less alone in the face of the problem of cyberbullying, Delfea – like 850 other streamers – joined the Stream'Her collective, “a community of mutual aid and highlighting of women in the world of streaming”.

The idea emerged in the head of Chloe, the co-founder, when she arrived on Twitch two years ago.

Observing a lack of representation of women on the platform, the co-founder of the collective sought a way to further highlight the Twitcheuses and help them settle.

“The idea was to give each other the tools to protect each other,” tells us Chloé, who has since been joined by a second co-founder, Ilaria.

Because no week goes by without at least one insult, admit the two Twitcheuses.

On the platform,

underrated gamers

Chloe – better known as Chloe_Live on Twitch – specializes in video games.

And like most women in this category, the founder of Stream'Her faces attacks on the lack of skills of women in video games.

"It's considered a male environment, while there are as many women as men among the players," explains Chloé.

“It is a very recurrent phenomenon.

On our lives, men tell themselves that it's up to them to teach women to play video games.

It's clearly sexism, ”adds Delfea Gaming.

Other streamers will also tell of being reduced only to their physical appearance.

This is particularly the case of Ilaria, who even though he has a smaller community that she considers “benevolent”, suffers grossophobic remarks.

Another streamer, Desentredeux – followed by 2,800 people – also tells us about facing insults “going in all directions”.

"It can be sexualizing remarks, questioning my work, my disability or my style", regrets the streamer who prefers to keep her identity as an artist "precisely because of cyberbullying".

“I no longer give my name or my age,” she adds.

In order to protect herself, Desrendeux also decided to take screenshots of all the insults in order to build a file, to which

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could have access.

In total, around thirty screenshots display sexist, macho remarks and numerous calls for rape: to those who grill the food”, “will get you raped big pus…”, or even “your head, it looks like a pedestrian crossing”.

Since then, Desrendeux admits to having stopped contributing to this file and prefers only to keep “the cute words instead”.

Twitch's inconspicuous counterattack

If cyberbullying proliferates on the platform, Twitch seems well aware of the phenomenon.

Last December, the online gaming social network launched a large ambitious program called “Suspicious User Detection” (“Suspicious user detection”, in French).

The idea?

Use artificial intelligence to intercept repeat stalkers, who get banned from the channel, come back under another account.

“We are constantly working on the development of new or improved tools and technologies, and there are always more to come”, assured the platform at the time.

Suspicious User Detection, powered by machine learning, is here to help you identify and restrict suspected channel ban evaders from chatting before they can disrupt your stream.

Learn more here: https://t.co/01cCwnQZfw pic.twitter.com/QWVSnRPg1X

—Twitch (@Twitch) November 30, 2021

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Except that, since then, the daily life of Twitcheuses does not seem to have been upset on the platform.

Cyberbullying still exists, despite the announced efforts.

“We receive many emails from the platform worthy of Emmanuel Macron who announces “that gender equality will be the great cause of the five-year term”, quips Desrendeux.

But according to the latter, "it's always the same".

Same observation on the side of the founders of Stream'Her.

“Many users still feel untouchable.

Twitch's new tool especially helps moderators, as people who have already been banned are highlighted.

They can now directly see which accounts to watch out for,” explains Chloe.

For Twitchers, the fight against cyberbullying must also be done with education.

“From the start of a live, it should be remembered, for example, that cyberbullying is punishable.

If we had this little reminder, maybe it would come more into mind, ”says Chloé.

In order to understand why the platform did not empower its users more, we tried to contact the company, which referred us to Twitch's security policies.

It reads: “Hateful conduct and harassment are not allowed on Twitch.

[…] We will take action on all instances of hateful conduct and harassment, with escalating severity of enforcement where the behavior is targeted, personal, graphic, or repeated/prolonged, incites further abuse, or involves threats of violence or coercion”.

@TwitchFR @Twitch what are you actually doing against the creation of hateful nicknames?

I get racist, sexist, validist, homophobic nicknames all the time, etc...it is urgent to do something so that hatred and discrimination stop claiming victims pic.twitter.com/sseKoMLK4L

— Delfea Gaming (@DelfeaGaming) May 5, 2022

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The solution: human moderation?

All streamers agree on one point: cyberbullying would be much better controlled if a human was behind it.

“When moderation is done automatically, it is easy to know how to circumvent it.

Robots do not necessarily have the understanding of the context like a real person”, recalls Chloé, the founder of Stream'Her.

So for many videographers, Twitch should consider banning IP addresses instead, to avoid repeat stalkers.

According to several Twitchers, banned users have already reappeared on their channels under much more virulent nicknames.

"We sometimes have requests for 'unban' with very offensive remarks," says Desrendeux.

“These nicknames could not be created normally, adds Delfea.

Except that it is algorithms that verify and not real people”.

Skeptical about Twtich's real desire to toughen its policy at the risk of causing a slaughter in the number of users, streamers continue to organize themselves to ensure more punctilious moderation on their account.

A few days ago, the Stream'Her collective, for example, launched a discord to connect streamers in order to help them moderate their lives among themselves.

Mutual aid which for the most part limits the weight of cyberbullying.

“If I didn't have the associations behind me, I probably wouldn't be on Twitch anymore,” Delfea admits.

And the Stream'her collective agrees: "Cyberharassment is a big negative point, but what comes back each time in conclusion - and so much the better - is that we don't want to give reason to these malicious accounts".

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The Maghla case, a first in court

Justice also seems to take hold of the problem of cyberbullying on Twitch.

On May 18, the Meaux Criminal Court pronounced, including six months suspended, against a 27-year-old man.

He is accused of harassing the streamer Maghla, followed by nearly 665,000 people.

The streamer had filed a complaint after multiple threats from someone who turned out to be an apprentice streamer.

He claimed to "be in a relationship" with her and sent her dozens of messages a day, told Le Parisien at the time.

He had even threatened to kill his dog.

During his trial, the accused explained that he had contacted her to "teach him the tricks of the trade".

“The defendant acknowledges the facts but he does not understand why he is appearing in court.

He justifies his harassment by his will to succeed and because the victim should help him to succeed.

For him, it's normal behavior, if you want to create a place in this environment.

But we are far from the register of a simple professional opportunity.

If he wants to be an influencer, act, but not by harassing, “concluded the deputy prosecutor during the verdict.

In France, it

  • By the Web

  • Twitch

  • Cyber ​​harassment

  • Women

  • Harassment