Bots and trolls: what to do against it?

A lot of people get bots in their channel, but only a few know what to do when such things happen. We’ll tell you what bots and trolls are, how you can recognize them and what you can do against them.

1. Bots

What is viewbotting?
Viewbotting is using a script or tool to make the channel appear to have more real-time viewers than it actually does. However this is against the rules of Twitch, Mixer and Youtube Gaming, viewbotting still remains a big problem.

What is followbotting?
Followbotting is when a channel is followed by a number of fake accounts. These accounts are also controlled by a script or tool and will try to look as real as possible, just to confuse you.

Why is it bad?
View and follow-botting are both damaging because it is a form of cheating. There’s a big chance the platform will catch the guilty party and botting always leads to banning channels/profiles.

How to deal with being botted?
First things first: don’t panic or worry! If you have an idea of who might be botting, report him/her. If you have evidence (f.e. screenshots, video’s,) always attach them while reporting. This gives the moderators a better look at the situation.
Second: try not to “feed the trolls”. If you’re going to react strongly it will only get worse. Try to ignore the fact, keep on having a good time with your community and stay calm about it.
Make sure your viewers know that you’re aware of what is happening, as they will keep spamming the issue in chat and that is (of course) what trolls want to see!
The same thing goes when you’re watching a streamer getting botted, don’t react on it and help the broadcaster through the process by just having a great time.

If you’re not sure the bot will shut down or you’re not confident enough to keep on streaming in this madness, just disconnect the stream. Your chatbot (f.e. Streamlabs) who shows the alerts will stop after a while and usually, this will end the botting since trolls don’t want to keep paying for not being noticed.

2. Trolls

What’s a troller on your channel?
No matter who you are, in either way you’ll get trolls in your chat. Don’t take it personally, it has nothing to do with you, your channel or your way of streaming.
We know two kinds of trolls, the obvious ones, and the subtle ones.
The obvious ones will call you names, irritate your viewers and post unwanted links or memes in your chat.
The subtle ones are a different story, they’ll start talking, getting to know you and your viewers and will slowly try to drag your stream into madness.

How to handle trolls?
There are a few ways to handle trolls and each one of them depends on the kind of trolls you get in chat. One way you can do it is to ‘kill them with kindness’. If you know there’s a subtle troller in your chat, try to be kind. Affect the conversation so they can tell about their day, what they are doing for work or how they are doing at school… Maybe they will even turn into a regular viewer!

If being kind doesn’t help, the only thing you can do is work together with your moderators. Try to ignore them and let your moderator take out all the trolls by giving them a time-out (and in worst case; a ban). Your regular viewers will thank you for keeping the stream going as there’s nothing wrong, keep doing what you like!

If there’s total chaos in your stream, trolls keep popping up while your moderators are doing their very best to help you, there are still some things you can do.
First off, turn off all notifications. In this way you’re protected from bad nicknames that keep popping up on your stream, or even fake donations.
If the chat is a total warzone, you can even put up a subscriber-only mode for a while, keeping the chat clean and your subs will get to chat like there’s nothing wrong. A slow-mode is also a good thing, but won’t help keeping the trolls away.

3. Conclusion

We can conclude that bots and trolls are a real no-go for your channel. If you’re thinking about paying for a bot so your channel can ‘get big in a small amount of time’, don’t do it because there’s a big chance you’ll get banned. Also getting a viewer or follower bot doesn’t boost your channel, you’ll get a lot further by putting your hard work and soul into it. Growing on Livestream platforms is not about the number of viewers you got, it’s about the interaction with the crowd and making a safe place for your viewers, so they can be who they are.

Also, it’s important to communicate with your moderators about what to do when such things happen. Improvising at the moment isn’t a good thing to do, because everyone has his own vision what’s the best for a channel.

Stay calm, don’t feed the trolls and keep having fun!