Ahead of Labour Day weekend in the US, the Artifact category on Twitch was a ghost town and trolls and ne’er-do-wells on the internet saw this as an opportunity.
So come Labour Day weekend, Twitch’s Artifact category was flooded with memes, porn and other illicit content. Among the content being streamed was the video that was filmed during the Christchurch mosque attack earlier this year.
While Twitch did work to remove streams it was an uphill battle. That having been said, the platform eventually got a hold on the illicit streams.
Now however, Twitch is taking the battle to court saying that it noted a decline in the number of Twitch users following the incident.
An excerpt from the lawsuit filed last week, via PC Gamer, follows on below.
“Beginning on or about May 25, 2019, Defendants flooded the Twitch.tv directory for the game Artifact with dozens of videos that violated Twitch’s policies and terms. This included, for example, a video of the March 2019 Christchurch mosque attack, hard core pornography, copyrighted movies and television shows, and racist and misogynistic videos … Twitch took down the posts and banned the offending accounts, but the offensive video streams quickly reappeared using new accounts. It appears that Defendants use automated methods to create accounts and disseminate offensive material as well as to thwart Twitch’s safety mechanisms.”
The lawsuit makes mention of John and Jane Does 1 – 100 as ascertaining exactly who was behind the flood of content right now is pretty tough. The first defendant is described as “a person or entity responsible in whole or in part for the wrongful conduct alleged herein who has operated an account on the Twitch Services under a pseudonym”. The other defendants are alleged to have, “ratified, endorsed, or was otherwise involved in the acts complained of”.
Should Twitch learn the identities of the streamers responsible the lawsuit will be updated to reflect those identities.
So what punishment awaits John and Jane Doe 1 – 100? Twitch is seeking a permanent and legally enforceable ban from the services, restitution and damages as well as legal fees.