back to article Get-rich quick trick Twitch snitch: Bots sued for fake video views

Gameplay video streaming biz Twitch has had enough of bots on its network and, after failing to find a lasting tech solution, has started throwing sueballs instead. Bots have become a big problem for Amazon-owned Twitch and its users. The software agents are used to hit up players' online channels and artificially inflate …

  1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "Gameplay video streaming biz Twitch has had enough of bots on its network and, after failing to find a lasting tech solution, has started throwing sueballs instead."

    I used to think that violence was the last resort of the incompetent - turns out it's lawsuits!

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The sad state of Humanity today

    Gotta have more views. Gotta have more views. Can't live if I don't have more views. What can I do ? Make my content more interesting ? I know ! I'll pay someone to make me feel popular ! Or to strike down that bastard who is more popular than me ! Yes, that's the solution !


    1. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: The sad state of Humanity today


      I thought this was about money not vanity. More views and apparent popularity means they get paid more?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The sad state of Humanity today

        It is primarily about money, yes. But money ebbs and flows while vanity is forever.

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Every follower needs to pay USD $1 per month to charity

    Problem solved.

    One could even rebuild that Kunduz hospital wrecked by US incompetents

    1. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: Every follower needs to pay USD $1 per month to charity

      Every man, woman and child on the globe needs to pay USD $6.58 per month to fill the coffers of the Pentagon.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Its hard to have respect for any corporation that foists Flash on its users in mid-2016....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here is the problem...

    Making money on twich isn't easy. It requires a lot of work and dedication to make yourself a brand and to do scheduled streams and content. Usually the best streamers also run youtube accounts and their own sites selling merchandise. While it isn't 100% necessary to be a partner to make money streaming on twitch, its another revenue stream that helps. As a partner you can have subscriptions to your channel that gives you a couple bucks a month per subscriber. The road to becoming a partner though is tough for new streamers, especially in popular games. As the channels in a game are displayed in descending order, new streamers with few or no viewers are all the way at the bottom, where hardly anyone goes to view. Those on top have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of viewers going at a time. However to get to partner you have to have 500 viewers continually and at least 2 streams a week. Some games don't even pull in 500 viewers, for all streamers combined... which means making partner in anything but Dota, LoL, Overwatch, or a popular new game is down right impossible. This is why bots exist...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here is the problem...

      I'm clueless about Twitch generally, but if sounds like you are suggesting the Twitch system is rigged for failure, unless cheating is employed. Like cheating has somehow become a requirement for success at Twitch.

      That's bad, right?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here is the problem...

        That's ratings friend. You can make the best programming in the world but if everyone is watching "get me off this reality islands celebrities voice while dancing chef" you're getting cut. Online media outlets are no different, though if you're a lone operative then there's no programme manager that's gonna cut you off just the lack of funds because nobodies viewing your content forces you to give up and do something else.

        Which of course is why only a crazy person would stop their normal 9 to 5 before they had enough of a following to do so and a large enough war chest in case things go wrong.

    2. Firedingo

      Re: Here is the problem...

      For small partners the subscription money is split 2.50 to twitch and 2.49 to the partner. On larger streams this can amount to more than the 2.49 such that it may be the entire 5 bucks but in exchange those streams give up all ad money which is the trade off. While 5 is the standard cost of subscribing, partners can hike the cost and can also lock almost all of the channel behind the subscription ie chatting, vods, emotes etc.

      The big games like Dota, LoL, WoW etc sell like crazy. Even have tv networks looking at introducing esports.

      But games such as Minecraft easily will get you 500 plus if you're not a complete failure. Suggests that for a 3 minute ad every 1000 legitimate views will get you $3.

      For an example:

      500 viewers x 2.49 = 1245

      500 viewers = 1.50

      Thus $1246.50 per month and that's just subscriptions and ad revenue. Actual values are likely to be higher assuming tips, gifts, additional money streams etc are all factored in as well.

      1. localzuk

        Re: Here is the problem...

        If a broadcaster has 500 viewers, they are highly unlikely to have 500 subs. More likely around 10-20% that number at most. So, your calculation is well off.

        Realistically, a 500 viewer stream is going to be looking at $125 - $250 income per month, plus tips etc...

        1. Jedit

          "highly unlikely to have 500 subs. More likely around 10-20% that number at most"

          The Hearthstone streamer Shadybunny gets a regular 500-600 viewers, and he recently hit 250 subs - I know this because that's a threshold for gaining a personal emote. pewgeminilive, another streamer I know who was partnered before the requirements were increased, actually has more subs than he does regular viewers.

          The reason your assumption is mistaken is because it doesn't account for the depersonalisation of large groups. Smaller streamers are able to interact with the chat on a personal basis. This makes viewers feel connected to the stream and more likely to want to contribute something back. Larger streamers still get more subs through sheer volume of traffic, but the overall proportion of viewers who sub is lower.

  6. ecofeco Silver badge

    Number of hits/views/units shipped faked

    So just like every form of PR then.

    Right. No surprise here.

    The only surprise to me is that they don't seem to have even the most basic verification system installed. Has CAPTCHA, email confirmation, or 2 factor login been that easily defeated? Oh wait, I'll bet it wasn't even deployed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Number of hits/views/units shipped faked

      Because then people wouldn't go and watch the content as people are inherently lazy.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, El'Reg probably missed it due to not having any interest in online media, but Blizzard are issuing lots of take down notices for naughty images generated using their assets like the one used on the article page.

  8. Jeffrey Nonken

    Ooh, love the implied Widowmaker/Tracer slash. I guess Tracer isn't as innocent as she seems in-game... or won't be, soon enough.

    “Cherché la femme.”

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