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Twitch Lawsuit Targets Streamers Who Broadcasted Porn Instead Of Artifact

Just how barren was the Artifact category on Twitch? It was so empty that, at one point, a slew of streamers decided to stream porn and all sorts of other things under the guise of gameplay. Now Twitch is suing them; if it can find them, of course.

PC Gamer got the jump on this one, catching a statement from Twitch about the lawsuit in question.

"Beginning on or about May 25, 2019, Defendants flooded the Twitch.tv directory for the game Artifact with dozens of videos that violated Twitch's policies and terms," Twitch stated. "This included, for example, a video of the March 2019 Christchurch mosque attack, hard core pornography, copyrighted movies and television shows, and racist and misogynistic videos."

Twitch tried to act, banning as many accounts as it could while taking down any content deemed offensive. But the company just couldn't do it fast enough.

"It appears that Defendants use automated methods to create accounts and disseminate offensive material as well as to thwart Twitch's safety mechanisms," Twitch said.

The lawsuit seems intended to deter any copycats from trying to do something similar. As for how effectively it'll be litigated, however, that's another story. It turns out that Twitch isn't entirely sure who is responsible for all of the inappropriate streaming, and has listed them simply as "John and Janes Does 1-100" in the lawsuit. The language used to separate all of those Johns and Janes isn't exactly distinctive, either. For its part, Twitch says it's going to work to identify those the company intends to sue. But that might take some time.

If nothing else, this episode with Twitch and the definitely-not-Artifact streams has shown us one thing: there's a danger to lightly policed social media sites like Twitch, which rely more on user reports than active monitoring to detect bad behavior. Sometimes people will take advantage of the system when they think no one's looking. And sometimes, they'll use a poor-performing Valve strategy game as cover for their nefarious deeds.

We'll keep you updated should we hear more about Twitch's lawsuit.