Twitch discovered over 7.5 million bot accounts who inflated the statistics of streamers, the company owned by Amazon tweeted. He has now started deleting those accounts and has warned users that “you may see a sudden drop in subscribers and viewers over the next few days.”
The robots were performing actions called bottling tracking and sight bottling, the company noted. Tracking bots can inflate the number of streamer followers, while viewer bots can increase the number of views. Both stats are used by Twitch to boost a channel, increasing its chances of being discovered.
Several streamers saw steep drops, with Twitch’s fifth-most popular streamer xQc losing 2.2 million overall, from around 8.1 million to 5.9 million, according to SocialBlade. Chance “Sodapoppin” Morris saw a same more pronounced decline, losing 2.8 million followers – about 45% of its total number. Other high profile streamers saw much less steep drops, even gains over the past week.
In addition to deleting the bot accounts, the company said it could also take legal action and already had Viewerbot sellers sued in order to curb false popularity ratings. However, the company noted that “we do not punish users who fall victim to bot attacks.”