Transgender VTubers have recently come together to reveal ongoing harmful harassment they’ve experienced on Twitch.
Hogwarts Legacy has caused major controversy due to Harry Potter’s author continuing to share transphobic rhetoric on social media and the alt right developers involved in the game’s creation. Some LGBTQ+ and Jewish folks have called for a boycott of the game, but that didn’t stop Twitch from pushing a huge campaign before the game officially dropped. In fact, the controversy surrounding the game has possibly increased the sales and many streamers have been playing the game live since it launched.
But as the popularity of the game has continued to soar, trans VTubers talked with Dexerto about the continued harassment and abuse they’ve endured after the game’s launch.
Has Hogwarts Legacy made transphobia worse on Twitch?
According to the group of VTubers that talked with Dexerto, Hogwarts Legacy isn’t the reason for the harassment. It has unfortunately been commonplace way before the game came out. But, many felt that Hogwarts Legacy’s success and the drama surrounding it made “trolls and bad actors want to go harder with their actions lately.”
After Hogwarts Legacy came out, multiple trans VTubers reported hate raids. This included an influx of new followers with very threatening usernames that would come into their stream and demand they self-harm or harass their chat. One VTuber, ValkYui, said that hate raids “crippled” her streams and made it impossible for her to collab or raid other people. They were forced to shut down a variety of interactive features. VTuber VirtualLily added that the transphobic harassers would join Discord servers or send private messages.
She told Dexerto: “Hate raiders came into my Discord to post gore, hate speech, transphobia, and more.”
In some cases, the harassment became even more dangerous. VTuber Senna said she was doxxed and swatted before. On Discord and other online forums, Senna’s old photos, address, and phone number were revealed. Other trans VTubers experienced the same treatment. The swatting is especially dangerous, a practice that has led to deaths in the past.
So how are these harmful trolls finding trans VTubers? It appears they are targeting anyone that uses the “trans” or “LGBT” tags. This has made many trans streamers nervous about using these tags and some even reported lying about their identity to protect themselves.
To combat this, Twitch has implemented moderation tools like Auto-Mod and Chat Bot, but trans streamers have continued to face ongoing harassment. The abusive accounts created with the intention of hate raiding are removed from the platform, but they have often already attacked or doxxed the VTuber by then. VTuber VirtualLilly suggested that Twitch should be more open in its support of trans streamers, publicly acknowledging the anti-trans hate raids that continue on their platform.
“I’m hoping to draw attention to the very serious bullying and harassment that Trans streamers face every day.” Marina told Dexerto. “Recently, with the release of Hogwarts Legacy, there’s been a lot of discussion about streamers being bullied for playing the game, and while no one deserves harassment, it’s important to be consistent with denouncing bullying, especially the kind that marginalized communities — such as the trans community — are experiencing.”