Amazon-owned gaming streaming service Twitch is cracking down on bot accounts that are trying to rig the streamer stats.
Twitch said it had discovered more than 7.5 million bot accounts that were inflating the stats. It also cautioned some users that they might see a sudden decline in the viewer and follower counts.
“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 said.
As a result of these removals, you may see sudden decreases in your follower and viewer count over the coming days. If you believe that you were follow- or view-botted, please check out our help article. 📚 https://t.co/R82r7NA90A
— Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) April 14, 2021
Twitch also explained how it detected these bot accounts. According to the company, it used a machine-learning algorithm to identify such accounts on the platform. It also warned that it would also consider pursuing legal action if needed.
On its website, Twitch further elaborates what it considers view-botting and follow-botting. According to the company, view-botting is a process artificially inflating a live view count using scripts or tools to show a channel has more concurrent viewer than it actually it is. This process may also be used together with other techniques such as chat activity bots, which attempt to imitate streamer/viewer interaction.
On follow-botting, Twitch says tools such as script are used to look as ‘real’ as possible while following the target account en masse. “These fake accounts are generally made and detected in batches, meaning that if you have been the victim of follow-botting, you may notice a sudden dip in followers from time to time as the batches are removed,” the company added.