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Twitch Sues 100 Users Who Vandalized Artifact’s Stream Page

By Bill Toulas / June 20, 2019

A hundred Twitch users who have not been named have received a lawsuit notice, as the popular game streaming platform decided that they would make an example of their behavior. What happened is that the official Twitch page of the Valve’s latest game “Artifact” was flooded with irrelevant material, inappropriate content such as hardcore porn and racist videos, as well as various samples of copyrighted material that they weren’t allowed to upload. As a first response back on May 25, Twitch’s “Trust and Safety” team took down the offensive posts, but the defendants kept uploading more, even using multiple accounts.

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image source: twitch.tv

While the game of cat and mouse went on, the platform’s moderators tried to catch up but it was impossible. The trolls were utilizing automated methods to create new accounts and continue to disseminate offensive material. This is where the line was drawn for Twitch, as this joke was now undermining their policies, safety mechanisms, and the framework that supports the very existence of the Twitch community. The disruption was such a large one that the platform’s demographics analysts noticed that the time of engagement for users in the website dropped significantly.

Twitch introduced two-factor authentication for several accounts that they believed were malicious and made it mandatory for them. The next step was the lawsuit against the 100 troll users, accusing them of copyright infringement in their posts. Moreover, the submitted indictment includes breach of contract (user-service agreement) and fraud. What Twitch is asking the court for is to issue an order for a permanent injunction that will prevent the defendants from posting anything on Twitch again in the future, as well as an undisclosed amount of money as a monetary relief for the damage that the platform sustained due to the trolling activities of the defendants.

On a side note, the fact that it was Artifact which was targeted by trolls was not a random occurrence. Valve’s latest card game was a disappointment for the fans of the game developing studio fan who have been expecting the release of Half-life 3 for so long, most of them have given up entirely. Valve’s decision to release a game that was made specifically to compete with Blizzard’s money-making machine, Hearthstone, is already seen as a complete failure, as players and Twitch users are flagrantly snubbing it. Right now, the Artifact channel on Twitch has 126 thousand followers, while Hearthstone counts 7 million.

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