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Twitch uncovers 7.5 million viewing bots

Streamers now know why they lost some followers.


The bots have been caught.

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Bots are a known issue for Twitch, Amazon's video game streaming platform. Improved machine learning has found millions of these accounts, and they're now being dealt with, which could affect some streamers' stats.

Twitch discovered 7.5 million bots that were follow-botting or view-botting, the company tweeted Wednesday. Follow-bots are used to improve a streamer's follow numbers while viewer-bots inflate the current number of viewers watching a stream, which can help boost a channel's discovery chances on the platform. Twitch says it will enforce its terms of service on these bot accounts, including taking legal action if necessary, which may lower a channel's follower and viewer counts in the coming days. 

Machine learning helped sniff out these bots, and Twitch says it'll improve operations going forward. Though some streamers looking to boost their numbers may purchase these viewer- and follower-bots in the lesser-known places on the internet, there are users who employ these bots to troll certain channels. A streamer could find his or her chat flooded with spam by the bots, and this could lead to other issues if the channel gets reported for a terms of service violation. Twitch says that if the channel isn't responsible for bots, it'll forgo any enforcement and focus on the bot accounts instead. 

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