Twitch suing anonymous trolls that spammed Artifact streams

After trolls flooded recent Artifact streams, the crew at Twitch have filed a copyright fraud lawsuit against the anonymous offenders.

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Here's a bit of weird news: Streaming platform Twitch is suing 100 anonymous users for spamming (read: trolling) recent Artifact streams with all manner of pornographic, gory, copyrighted, and otherwise shocking content.

Filed on June 14 in a U.S. District Court in Northern California, the lawsuit is going after "John and Jane Does 1 through 100," alleging the users engaged in trademark infringement, breach of contract, unlawful use of the platform, and outright fraud.

Details of the suit posted over on Scribd give readers a sense of the gravity of the situation, describing how Twitch made its best efforts to combat the troll posts. It reads:

"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. Such methods are often referred to as “bots.” Defendants also use bots to artificially increase the popularity of the streams broadcasting the offensive conduct, making those streams more easily discoverable by users browsing Twitch.

To protect the Twitch community, Twitch took the extremely disruptive step of disabling streaming for all newly created accounts for almost two days before imposing two-factor authentication for certain accounts. In response, Defendants sought to evade these steps using old accounts as well as accounts purchased from other users."

The lawsuit alleges that the anonymous users were able to synchronize their efforts using off-site services such as Discord. With that said, the lawsuit also states that Twitch has no idea who the users are, saying that the suit can proceed "if and when the legal names of such persons or entities become known."

Try as companies might, it's proving harder and harder to combat the efforts of trolls online. In a statement provided to Polygon, Twitch says it is "taking measures to prevent this from happening on our service in the future." If the identities of the parties involved ever come to light, and assuming the lawsuit goes through as planned, we're inclined to think trolls would think twice before targeting Twitch again. Be sure to keep it tuned here to Shacknews for further updates as this story develops.

Guides Editor

Kevin Tucker is a core component of Shacknews' powerful guide development team. For questions, concerns, tips, or to share constructive criticism, he can be reached on Twitter @dukeofgnar or through e-mail at kevin.tucker@shacknews.com.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 17, 2019 1:45 PM

    Kevin Tucker posted a new article, Twitch suing anonymous trolls that spammed Artifact streams

    • reply
      June 17, 2019 1:50 PM

      Man, that game was such a flop. I truly regret buying that one.

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      June 17, 2019 3:14 PM

      Does Twitch even have standing for those copyright claims and others?

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        June 17, 2019 4:10 PM

        Yeah. Not sure why they're going that route. Was Twitch contacted by the IP holders for Debbie does Dallas or whatever the hell got streamed?

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          June 17, 2019 6:32 PM

          Maybe they're suing on behalf of the person who video taped the massacre considering how stupid of a route they're going...

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      June 17, 2019 3:38 PM

      So they don’t even know who they were? Good Iuck suing someone behind 7 proxies.

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        June 17, 2019 4:05 PM

        I'd wager most were behind exactly zero proxies because they never expected anyone to actually do anything about it.

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      June 17, 2019 5:42 PM

      Hahaha, I remember when this went down. Hardly anyone was watching the streams for the matches, so the trolls ran rampant and unchecked for quite a while.

      That's the only reason this made a blip this time -- usually the troll strikes are quicker and targeting more obscure streams

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