Twitch Announces Legal Action Against bot Sellers
The Twitch blog has been updated with a significant post that reveals a new legal action filed by the company against seven of the most active viewbot services sellers. This is the third layer of protection the company is putting in place to stop broadcasters from overinflating view statistics, follower counts and chat activity on Twitch.
The motivation here is pretty clear. The more popular a channel appears, the higher the likelihood that they will be made a Twitch partner, allowing said channel to profit from advertising on their content. The big problem for Twitch is that it must protect the investments of advertisers by policing the userbase. And that involves going after those diminishing the value of the advertising on the site. After all, no advertisers want to waste money by buying fake views. This trend is true of any advertising network or content platform, they will all have a go at those cheating the system at some point.
But users have to stay honest too, says the company’s SVP of Marketing in a post. Ultimately, the best way to stop viewerbot sellers from ruining Twitch is for users to stop buying them.
3. Defendants threaten to disrupt this cycle. Defendants design, sell, and deploy bot services — software that mimics the behavior of real users. These bot services capitalize on Twitch broadcasters’ desire to become popular on Twitch and to become Partners by promising shortcuts to both. Defendants offer bot services intended to deceive Twitch into believing that broadcasters are more popular than they really are. Defendants claim that their services will artificially inflate broadcasters’ viewership to make their channels appear higher in directories and trick Twitch into accepting broadcasters into the Partnership Program, with its promise of additional revenue.
4. For example, Defendant Erik Bouchouev offers bot packages that range from $9.99 per month for 75 viewers to $38.99 per month for 475 viewers. Defendant Justin Johnston “guarantee[s] that you will get more profile views, more viewers when you stream live, and more followers when you upgrade your account!” Defendants Michael and Katherine Anjomi sell packages that range from $26.99 per week for 100 viewers to $759.99 for 20,000 viewers. Defendants’ offerings, described in more detail below, are accompanied by fake follower and fake chat activity designed to make the fake viewership mimic real user behavior.
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