Popular poker streaming site Twitch might have a bot problem
Twitch.tv has become one of the most popular methods for sharing poker content, as well as live games. Many top players have turned to the platform to allow fans to see how they play and have developed a substantial following. As with other social media sites, such as YouTube or Instagram, the more followers someone has, the better their chances are of developing a solid revenue stream. However, it now seems that some individuals might be turning to nefarious methods to boost their numbers.
Rumors have begun circulating that Twitch.tv is seeing a huge increase in viewbots – fake, automated accounts that help inflate the number of views of a particular channel. The viewbots even include chat mechanisms in order to appear more realistic. The fraudsters’ use of the bots allows them to garner a higher pay rate for affiliate ads on their channels, leading to increased revenue.
There are clues that a particular channel might be using viewbots. In many cases, the number of active viewers is extremely high compared to the number of followers. Since the bots also engage in the channel’s chat session, the chat they leave is often irrelevant to both the topic of the stream or to the chat conversation. There is also a steady pulse of chat entries from the bots, with new entries being left at regular intervals.
Twitch.tv is working to control the activity, but it isn’t easy. It already scored a major victory earlier this year when it sued a viewbot developer in court and won, receiving a $1.3-million judgment. However, it’s not easy to stay on top of the issue and the community must get involved. If someone thinks they have come across a channel that is using viewbots, they need to inform Twitch so the matter can be investigated.