What Are View Bots?
Twitch viewbots are “robot viewers” that can be rented through a few services online. Some packages offer a specific amount of fake viewers for a while. Some are designed for messaging in chat occasionally. While it is most common for streamers to purchase this service, some malicious users have botted individual channels out of spite.
What Should You Do If Someone Viewbots You
Step 1. If you know who botted you, report them right away.
Step 2. Save any proof or screenshots to pass along to the platform as evidence. Don’t worry or over-react.
Step 3. Calmly let your real viewers know that you are be botted and that you are dealing with it.
Step 4. Report the viewbot incident along with the time and date to Twitch Support.
Some streamers have stopped streaming right away when they realize they are being botted. You can do this if it makes you more comfortable. Again, let your viewers know what is going on and notify your social media or Discord with any updates.
Platforms don’t penalize broadcasters for something that isn’t their fault. Just be upfront and honest with them and your viewers and things should hopefully die down soon.
You can also try one of the following techniques:
Change “Playing” to “Not Playing” On Your Dashboard
If the person who is controlling the viewbot is watching, they may move on after you change your directory. The whole point of viewbotting someone is to have them rank higher in the listings. Removing the listing aspect of your channel temporarily will make the bot useless. At that point, the person may disable the bot or try to find another streamer to bot. Relist your channel a few minutes later.
Restart Your Stream
Tell your viewers that you are restarting your stream to try to remove their bots. Let them know you will return in 5 minutes. Depending on the viewbot, it could automatically be removed once your stream ends.
How to Tell if You are Being Viewbotted
Sometimes a disgruntled user will actually message you to let you know they are view botting you. In those cases, you should immediately take a screenshot of the conversation so that you can send it to Twitch (or whatever platform you are using).
The most common sign of you being view botted is if you randomly jump up hundreds (or even thousands) of views without being raided or doing anything differently in your stream.
You can also tell if these new “viewers” don’t really participate in chat other than to periodically say generic things, such as “nice stream.” Occasionally, they will post links in your chat that could lead to viruses or other dangerous sites.
How to Tell if a Viewer is a Bot
While bots will vary, there are some signs that typically mean some of your viewers can actually be bots.
- Names: though some bots are lazy and just use generic names with a number at the end (i.e. Sally01, Sally02, etc), most use a name generator that will compile three or four random words together (i.e. FishOrchidAccordion, WaterBearPolo, etc) all with the first letter of the word capitalized.
- If you look into these random-word accounts, they will have typically followed several random channels and you will often find that two or more of the bots in your channel follow the same channels as each other (but won’t necessarily be following you). These are not “DrDisrespect” channels that many people follow, but smaller, obscure channels with few followers.
Reasons Why Someone Would Viewbot Your Channel
Using viewbots is a bannable offense and some people may try to bot you with the hope that you will be banned from it. This could be a disgruntled user, a troll, or a rival streamer. Even though it is unlikely that you will be banned from someone else botting you, they may hope that you will go offline.
Some people may also actually bot you with the intent of helping your channel out, not understanding that it generally leads to trouble.
Is Buying Twitch Followers Illegal?
Bots and fake followers are considered illegal by Twitch and other streaming platforms and usually against the Terms and Conditions of the platform.
Is there a Twitch Viewbot detector?
There is currently not a way to scan a channel to confirm or deny the presence of view bots. If there was, they would likely be blocked by Twitch at this time.
Should You Use Viewbots?
Some users desperate for more followers try to use viewbots to make their channel appear more popular than it is. While being discovered on platforms like Twitch or Mixer can be hard, using bots isn’t the answer. It is against the Terms of Service of the streaming platforms and it can ostracize you to other streamers and potential viewers alike.
If you are being viewbotted, it is important to stay calm and quickly report the channel to Twitch. Whether or not you end your stream at that time is up to you. There are pros and cons for either way.