Twitch has disabled the ability for new accounts to live stream following an attack from trolls that flooded one section of the site with pornography, illegal content, and hateful imagery.
The move comes as Twitch’s team tries to stop bad actors from abusing its system and flouting rules around copyrighted and illegal video. A statement from Twitch’s support team sent out via Twitter specifies the “safety of our community is our top priority and we’re doing everything we can to restore all access as quickly as possible.”
Twitch hasn’t said when new creators will be allowed to stream
The streaming service’s Artifact category was brigaded all weekend by trolls, who reportedly first fled to the section as a way of joining in on a recent meme. Artifact, a card game developed by Valve, was recently named the least popular game on Twitch. Twitch users, and the broader gaming community, have been dunking on the game’s failure for months, both before and after Valve announced it was taking time to redesign the title in late March. But this weekend that changed with a flood of new streams using the category’s low visibility to stream content violating Twitch’s policies.
Twitch’s statement acknowledged that they “became aware of a number of accounts targeting the Artifact game directory” over the weekend. Twitch’s team also recognized trolls were using the category “to share content that grossly violates our terms of service.” The majority of the accounts that “shared and viewed content were automated.”
Some of the streaming content fell under general meme tomfoolery, but Motherboard reported that footage of the Christchurch shooting — the New Zealand terrorist attack that spread virally on social media and left more than 50 people dead in early March — was also uploaded. Twitch has previously dealt with people abusing its streaming platform to broadcast pirated content, like Game of Thrones episodes and pay-per-view UFC fights. Still, Twitch preventing new users from streaming demonstrates just how seriously the company is taking this.
Twitch did not say when new users will be able to stream. The moderation team is currently working to remove content. The Verge has reached out for further comment.