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Twitch Loses Patience with Viewbots, Sues Creators of Seven of Them

Everyone wants success, right? Everyone wants to pursue a field in a hopes that they will get somewhere and make a name for themselves. In order to get to that point, however, you have to start out at the bottom. Five listens per song, ten views per video, one viewer per stream. Sometimes it's immensely difficult or even impossible to break through that barrier, and many struggle to get past that frustrating point. Some decide to concede, others persevere, and others manipulate the system. It's difficult to get popular in the world of streamers, but when your stream quality is low and so is your viewer quantity, then you can just pop out a viewbot and watch your numbers artificially inflate. However, video platform Twitch has constantly stressed that viewbots are a growing frustration among their community, and they have decided, in retaliation, to sue the creators of seven of these viewbots in order to set an example.

It's obvious why people use viewbots; people want success, but people don't want to work for it. Viewbots are the easy way out. However, marketing Senior Vice President Matthew DiPietro has openly stated that he thinks viewbots harm their partnership program, get other users suspended, or just harass other streamers. He believes they are a very malicious entity and are not just used to artificially boost numbers. DiPietro claims that people who viewbot their streams can become falsely accepted into the partnership program, booting out other potential streamers (that honestly came by their numbers) and receiving a financial gain. Because these streamers have so little real attention, the quality of their streams are probably questionable at best and it hurts the quality of Twitch as a whole.

The defendants of this lawsuit, who DiPietro labels as "a handful of sellers" receive commercial gain out of selling their services with "false claims" in selling viewbots to other, desperate users. He also claims, however, that these people are just wasting their money, as Twitch has several different methods of weeding out these bots and moderating their viewership quite efficiently. When these types of inflation in follower and view count are reported, the offending user is dealt with in order to suppress the amount of damage that user and their viewbot can do. In order to protect the more honest users more thoroughly, this lawsuit is going into effect in an attempt to stop the Twitch viewbot business as a whole, rather than just dealing with the offenses on a case-by-case basis. DiPietro says it's being filed in order to protect “Twitch viewers and broadcasters from the damaging effects of this kind of malicious activity.” DiPietro strongly advises that the best way to avoid any sort of problem with viewbots is to just not bother with them and to not offer money to the people who provide them.

Twitch is shooting for getting injunctions slammed against the creators of the viewbots, including an order preventing payment processors from giving them service, forfeiting the possession of their domains, financial restitution, legal fees, and punitive damages. Twitch has also slammed several allegations against the creators of these bots, including federal trademark infringement, unfair competition, cybersquatting, fraud, breach of contract, and tortious interference. Whatever comes of this lawsuit is sure to be fascinating, and will probably result in the eventual death of the Twitch viewbot business.

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