Preventing hate raid bot disruptions during your Twitch stream
If you aren't familiar with the hate raid-related bots already, they're a bunch of bots that have been created to support the execution of hate raids in the Twitch community. These hate raids often target minorities including women, people of colour, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. While initially they have a reputation for targeting these communities via tags that streamers can use to have their live stream discovered on Twitch, I have seen them active on streams where the streamer is a white male that does not use any such tags and only the default ones populated when selecting the game, including language. It's safe to say these bots are everywhere, probably on every stream. It's unclear what the motive is of all of all these bots, but they are here to stay it seems as Twitch has not yet added a solution and has left it up to the streamers. So far, they are a nuisance with their barrage of follows which often trigger alert visuals and sounds on stream, but their threat is that they could perform a hate raid on your stream at any point.
Here's an example Tweet from a frustrated streamer:
Auto-banning bots on follow
There are a number of bots available to auto-ban known bots on follow. Some use a word list (i.e. blocked terms) while others have different algorithms. The one I have tried and use on my stream is sery_bot which appears to work to auto-ban on follow for known bots. I do not have any experience with any other bots, but if you do, feel free to share some information in the comments or on my Discord server to help me make this article better.
Auto-banning with sery_bot
The following screenshot shows it happening in chat during the stream.
The following screenshot shows it in the banned users list.
From my experience, sery_bot works well to auto-ban on follow.
I have enabled commands
Another claim for this bot is that is prepared to handle a hate raid should one be executed during your stream.
Some other bot developers out there claim their bot is better than this one so I invite you to do research into the bots you choose to install. Sery_bot works for me for auto-banning bots on follow so far. Thankfully I do not have experience with hate raids so the handling of an executed hate raid is not tested by myself.
I would recommend finding a solution that works for you before your next stream so that you do not waste time on-stream manually banning bots after they've followed.
You could also try installing multiple bots. Worst case scenario is they both try to ban a username that's already been banned by the other bot.
I would recommend checking your banned user list after your stream to make sure that bots didn't accidentally ban a real user.
Disabling follow alerts for bots
I would also recommend configuring your alert plugin to ignore bots so that you do not get constant text, image and sound alerts on-stream which can be disruptive to you as a streamer and also your viewers. Please note that this solution is much less robust than the one used to auto-ban as I have manually entered terms to block.
I will provide the instructions I used for Streamlabs. If you have used another plugin or service, feel free to add comments and screenshots to contribute to this.
In the Streamlabs alertbox config, there is a field labeled "Custom Bad Words" that you can use to add terms to be blocked. This is where I would add
hoss and all leet speak versions of it, e.g. h0ss, ho55, h055, etc. to start as these ones appear to be the most disruptive these days. There is also a dropdown labeled "Profanity Filter" where I would choose "Disable alerts containing bad words."
In the screenshot below you can see the above-mentioned fields.
I do not know how effective this is and as I mentioned above, I have not verified that this works yet as I configured this after my last stream.
It would be nice for Streamlabs to add a feature to upload a wordlist, or if they themselves supported something out-of-the-box, though I recognize this is a problem for Twitch to solve to protect their content creators.
Kill switch for alerts
If configuring these alerts fails, you can disable the alerts altogether. I would keep your alertbox config for Follows open and ready to flip the switch to off.
- Streamlabs alertbox config
- use the
!bot unmutecommands for StreamElements
- toggling the eyeball for browser source alerts in OBS. For this to work, the following option must be enabled: "Shutdown source when not visible."
You can disable the sound and visual alerts to prevent disruption during your stream. After your stream, you can deal with banning follow bots manually (or programmatically) that were not banned by your bots (or if you don't have a bot installed to handle them).
Removing follow bots after your stream
If you didn't install a bot ahead of time, or if the bot you installed is not configured properly or doesn't work, you will likely need to address all of these issues manually.
It is recommended, however, to get these handled automatically and preventatively by bots like sery_bot or similar by installing it and/or other bots that can deal with this type of follow-spam programmatically.
Alternatively you may want to copy/paste your whole activity feed of follows into a text editor that facilitates Find and Replace actions, remove ones that aren't bots (i.e. ones that are actually real people following you), and put the prefix
/ban in front of each of the bot usernames, then copy/paste that into your chat to ban them. An example command would look like this:
/ban USERNAME_GOES_HERE Hate raid bot
The idea is you would have a list of the above command, one for each username.
Ask Twitch to remove the bot followers
I have seen on Twitter that users who have been follow botted requested help from Twitch and Twitch removed the followers for them. I would recommend this. Maybe they'll help, maybe they won't, but the more support tickets they get about follow botting, maybe it'll nudge them to do something about it.
Automated removal with CommanderRoot
You may also want to try the CommanderRoot follower remover tool to do a bulk time-based removal. I have witnessed this causing people's browsers to freeze so you may not be able to perform this action. I have also seen people say they accidentally removed too many (or all) of their followers by using the tool incorrectly as it is easy enough to make a mistake. If you take this approach, proceed with caution.
In conclusion, I am definitely not an expert on hate raids and the prevention of them, so if you have any feedback for how I can improve this article, feel free to comment here or join me on my Discord server to help me make this article better.