Huge Twitch lawsuit stuns tech industry

Huge Twitch lawsuit stuns tech industry

Twitch is coming after view bots by suing them in federal court, trying to get them shut down.

Online game-streaming platform Twitch has declared war.

Twitch is targeting so-called cheating bots, which artificially boost follower counts and advertising clicks, by suing providers in federal court, according to a Twitch statement.

Twitch is alleging that these companies engage in cybersquatting, trademark infringement and computer fraud. Company marketing VP Matthew DiPietro wrote in a blog post that Twitch shares frustration over the existence of view bots that are exploited by a “small minority.”

Among the services being sued are TwitchViewerBot.coma nd One of the defendants name operates five different websites, charging $9.99 per month for 75 viewers or $38.99 per month for 475 viewers.

Twitch says in the complaint that these activities hurts community members who use Twitch. The company is trying to get the court to shut the services down, as well as award damages.

“We at Twitch are well aware that view-bots, follow-bots, and chat-impersonation bots are a persistent frustration,” the statement reads. “Exploited by a small minority, these services have created a very real problem that has damaging effects across our entire community. For those unaware, these bots are used to artificially inflate the apparent view count, follower count, and chat activity on a Twitch channel.
Sometimes these bots are used by a broadcaster who believes the perception of higher viewership and social activity will put them on the fast-track to success or Twitch partnership. Other times, bots are used to harass other broadcasters in order to attempt to deny them partnership, or get their channel suspended. All of this is enabled by bot services offered by a handful of sellers who make misleading claims for their own commercial benefit. We take this situation very seriously and would like you to know what we’re doing about it.
First, we employ a range of technological solutions to detect false viewers and remove them. This is an ongoing effort that requires regular maintenance and engineering, and one we’re dedicated to continuing and making even more effective.”

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