Twitch sues hijackers who streamed porn and violent videos

The company wants to ban them and make them pay for damages.

Twitch had a tough time getting troll streamers in control after they hijacked an unused category for Valve's Artifact. The hijackers livestreamed porn, pirated Game of Thrones episodes, other copyrighted material, violent videos and, perhaps most egregiously, video from the Christchurch mass shooting that left 51 people dead. Now, the streaming platform has filed a lawsuit against the trolls, even though it still has no idea who they are.

The company named "John and Jane Does 1-100" as the lawsuit's defendants. According to a copy of the lawsuit posted by Gizmodo, "Doe 1 is a person or entity responsible in whole or in part for the wrongful conduct alleged herein who has operated an account on the Twitch Services under a pseudonym." John Does "2-to-100 are persons or entities responsible in whole or in part for the wrongdoing alleged herein."

In the lawsuit, Twitch explained that it took down streams and banned offending accounts -- going as far as disabling streaming for all newly created accounts -- but the videos quickly popped up again under new ones. The company concluded that the hijackers used bots to get around the company's safety mechanisms and to artificially inflate their streams' popularity.

Twitch also dropped a couple of hints for why it decided to file a lawsuit: it said it was forced to expend "significant resources" investigating and banning the bad actors. Plus, due to what happened, the platform apparently lost users who reduced their use of its services or stopped visiting entirely after coming across one of the offending streams. Twitch said it will ask the court to ban the hijackers from using the platform and to order them pay for damages -- that is, if finds out who they are.

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