Over the years, Twitch.tv has become the epicentre of the gaming world, with millions of players tuning in every month to watch their favorite entertainers or educational streamers play their favorite game, whether it was a mammoth of League of Legends proportions or Atlas Reactor, which had 1 viewer at the time of writing.
With its growing popularity, live-streaming computer games becomes more and more attractive to players who wish to try and earn a living by playing games. The problem is that overnight success stories are extremely rare. Growing an audience and reaching the level where you could conceivably support yourself by streaming on Twitch.tv takes years in most cases. Many of the most popular streamers today started with sub-10 viewer counts, keeping at it for months. Not many people can avoid getting discouraged in that situation. After all, people are used to quick gratification.
For those who don’t have no patience, there’s a way to shoot up the ranks quicker. They can buy viewbotting services, followers, or chat participants to appear more popular than they are, hopefully attracting more legitimate views and gaining fans they wouldn’t have got if they didn’t bot to rise in rankings. While I understand why people would decide to do this, I strongly believe that this is unfair, lazy, and, most importantly, stupid in the extreme, and I abhor stupidity. Apparently, Twitch.tv agrees.
On June 17th, 2016, Twitch Interactive, Inc. filed a suit against several people, operating multiple viewbotting services in multiple countries. The first defendant will be Erik Bouchouev, who is running twitch-buddy.com, twitch-viewerbot.com, twitchviewerbot.net, streambot.com, and black desertbot.com; Justin Johnston, responsible for twitchstarted.com and twitchstarter.tv; Michael and Katherine Anjomi, the owners of upitpromo.com; Pooria Sharaffodin, responsible for babatools.com and stream-viewers.com; Marco Pelagatti of twitchswiss.com; and, Alex Renfrow from streamhomies.com. The complaint was filed for trademark infringement, unfair competition, cybersquatting, computer fraud and abuse, breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, unfair competition, fraud, California comprehensive computer data access and fraud, and accounting fraud, demanding a jury trial.
Now, I’m not a lawyer, but keeping in mind the revenue Twitch.tv gets, I seriously pity the fools they sued, as they will probably come out of this totally ruined. If I were a starting Twitch streamer, I wouldn’t touch a viewbot with a ten foot pole or stop using it if I did it before. Twitch’s attention is firmly on the problem of viewbotting now. It’s like the Eye of Sauron is on it now. Unless Aragorn and friends come to distract it, so to speak, viewbotters should get smacked quite hard. I can’t wait to watch the resulting fireworks.