What Is Viewbotting: How Twitch Is Tackling The Next Big Online Fraud

Twitch was conceptualized as a platform that would allow gaming enthusiasts to share their content with other like-minded individuals. Consequently, it placed great thrust on creating a wholesome community united by its shared love for playing video games and focused on enabling greater interaction among its members. And boy, did that concept take off! Today, Twitch has emerged as the uncontested platform of choice for gamers across the globe, with some 15 million viewers tuning in every day!

However, while the emergence of Twitch as the premier platform in the video game streaming category has been accompanied by the rise of passionate creators like Ninja who create and share gaming content borne of their love for it, commercial mooches have also hopped onto the Twitch bandwagon in droves.

Twitch is encumbered by numerous creators who, instead of playing video games, will attempt to play the ‘system’ and artificially boost their revenue as opposed to doing so organically by creating better content. They are looking to make a quick buck and their priority isn’t on focusing on their content as much as it is on using Twitch as a mere profit agent and operating in the grey area.

This is a worrisome trend for several reasons. Not only is this approach a far cry from the original ethos of Twitch, which the community prides itself upon and works tirelessly to preserve, but it also enables fakers to generate visibility at the cost of other, organic content creators on the platform. One of the ways individuals artificially boost their Twitch channel engagement is by View Botting.

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What is View Botting on Twitch?

The Twitch monetization policy focuses on channel engagement to determine any amount that is to be disbursed to creators on its platform. Engagement includes channel viewership, subscriber count, and followers (among other things). View Botting is the process of creating fake engagement on a Twitch channel by using custom scripts and online bots to artificially drive viewership statistics higher. View Botting is often accompanied by Follow Botting and Chat Botting which inflate the channel follower count and insert generated chat entries onto the channel’s stream, respectively.

Why is View Botting Bad?

View Botting increases the money received by the channel even though it has not improved its content. In such cases, channels make more money than they deserve and genuine creators miss out on visibility due to getting drowned out by the sheer volume of the fake engagement generated.

This is a double whammy because, on one front, Twitch has to pay higher than appropriate sums to channels that do not bring real viewers to the site, and on the other hand growth opportunities available to genuine creators who could bring organic engagement to Twitch are limited.

In any case, a channel with view botting can hardly be expected to seriously grow as usage of bots seriously undermines the credibility of creators on the platform. One may do well to expect such a channel to be shunned by the Twitch community (provided that the view botting becomes apparent to the real viewers).

How to Deal with View Botting and Other Forms of Fake Engagement on Twitch?

Creators and Twitch viewers may report any channels claiming to provide botting services on Twitch by filling a user report. This alerts Twitch to suspicious channels and helps them in taking targeted action against policy offenders.

Maintaining the Twitch community’s genuineness takes the collective effort of all members within it, and taking stringent action against View Botting goes a long way towards achieving this shared ambition!

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