The free emotional support hotline aims to combat the ongoing problem of hate raids on Twitch.
Today, the Games and Online Harassment Hotline has unveiled a new tool to help the games community combat toxicity and harassment: a resource for vicitims of hate raids.
Hate raids are an issue that arose most notably last year, where streamers would use the Raid feature on Twitch — normally used to send followers to another stream as a sign of support — to flood stream chats of primarily marginalized streamers with profanity, abusive messages, and harassment. At one point, hate raids become so pervasive that a number of Twitch streamers organized a Twitch boycott in protest, hoping to force Twitch to make changes. While it did add a number of features to reduce the sheer volume of these raids, they appear to still be impacting a number of streamers over a year later.
We made the ultimate hate raid mitigation guide! Please share!
✅How to prepare for a Hate Raid
✅How to Stop a Hate Raid
✅What to do After
✅Mental Health Support & Community Tools
— Games and Online Harassment Hotline (@GamesHotline) August 2, 2022
Hence, the resource. The Hotline’s guide includes detailed advice on how to prepare in advance of a stream to minimize the impact of a hate raid, what to do if one happens both during and after, and tips for mental health and community support following a hate raid. Alongside advice, the guide also includes a number of tools that can help streamers identify and ban bots or other malicious users in advance, as well as links to resources at Twitch and other organizations.
“There is no one right way to respond to harassment,” the guide’s introduction reads. “Keeping a sense of self and agency can be one of the most important things to center in the face of ongoing harassment. So remember that you’re allowed to react to hate raids in any way that feels right to you. It’s OK to stop streaming, to keep streaming, to talk about it, to not talk about it, to feel angry, to feel numb, to feel scared, to feel anything at all. Remember: online harassment is not your fault.”
The Games and Online Harassment Hotline was established in 2020 as a response to the 2019 wave of allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment sweeping the games industry. The hotline is a free, text-messaged based, confidential support hotline that anyone involved in games can text at any time for support and resources when faced with harassment.
Aside from its hate raid resource, its website includes a number of other mental health and safety resources to help the games community mitigate online harassment and receive support when it happens.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.