Increase in Twitch and YouTube streamer ‘swattings’ sees creators highlight the trauma they cause

An image of Adin Ross, one of the streamers that were recently swatted.

An image of Adin Ross, one of the streamers that were recently swatted.

While the world of Twitch streaming often looks from the outside to be a dream job, with some creators getting opportunities to broadcast alongside mainstream celebrities and others garnering heavy praise for their exploits on a daily basis, there are certainly some drawbacks to it.

The amount of public attention that cultivating a large following can result in is often the root of many negative consequences that are difficult to deal with.

Among the most feared of these issues currently is streamer swatting, which sees innocent creators have the police called to their residences, a disturbing trend which, according to a report from The Washington Post’s Nathan Grayson, is currently experiencing a spike in popularity.

Streamer swatting causes constant distress for some of Twitch’s biggest stars

The victims of this latest spike were streamers Clara ‘Keffals’ Sorrenti, Adin Ross, Nadia Amine and Darren ‘IShowSpeed’ Watkins, with the latter three creators having had the event occur during live broadcasts, causing abrupt disruptions to scheduled programming.

While Sorrenti’s incident occurred while she wasn’t live, the details of it are just as disturbing, with Grayson reporting that it was the result of an email impersonating her, which falsely claimed that she was in possession of an illegal firearm and also threatened she would kill people with it, having been sent to city councillors in London, Ontario.

The eventual result of this, according to Sorrenti, was mistreatment of her by the police handling the incident, with the streamer suggesting in a YouTube video that she’d been deadnamed by the officers and had had electronics that she needed for work confiscated by them.

“Instead of the police helping me, they terrorized me and my loved ones, traumatizing me and leaving my fiance and I on the verge of losing everything.” said Sorrenti in the video, adding: “They victimised me for being the victim of a hate crime.”

Responding to this, The London Police Service has issued a statement in which its Chief, Steve Williams, wrote: “We acknowledge the distress this has caused Ms. Sorrenti and we will be reviewing the occurrence to understand how that might have happened.”

While none of the other streamers reported having issues like this during their swattings, both Ross and Amine took to social media to discuss how traumatising the experience had been.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Twitch suggested that it has been working to improve the help it can offer to creators who’ve been swatted, saying: “We operate an industry-leading off-service policy that allows us to take action against Twitch users who have committed egregious, violent off-service offences.”

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