Twitch star Felix “xQc” Lengyel lost 2 million followers overnight after Twitch took action against follower bots.
Twitch announced that they were targeting 7 million bots that were boosting streamers’ accounts, resulting in xQc losing 2.2 million followers within one week. This brought him down to 5.5 million followers. While definitely a drastic drop, xQc is still one of Twitch’s top streamers. He stands as the most-watched streamer in 2021 thus far.
“They just removed them,” xQc ranted. “I lost like 2 million followers. But followers mean nothing to me. The numbers themselves, I mean.”
xQc is just the first of many streamers who will face similar follow drops in the coming weeks. Twitch’s official Twitter stated that it had found over 7.5 million bots, which break the platform’s Terms of Service regarding “follow-botting and view-botting.” Twitch warned other streamers that they might see a drop in followers in the next few days.
“A majority of these accounts were detected through ongoing machine learning technology that will continue to improve and we will continue to operate going forward. We engage in enforcement when necessary including pursuing legal action,” Twitch explained.
🛡️ We have been monitoring the rise of fake engagement on Twitch and have identified 7.5MM+ accounts that break our TOS by follow-botting and view-botting. We are taking action on these accounts and appreciate all of the reports about this issue.
— Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) April 14, 2021
According to a recent blog post on the issue, Twitch explained that view-botting is the practice of “artificially inflating a live view count using illegitimate scripts or tools to make the channel appear to have more concurrent viewers than it actually does.” Sometimes this can be accompanied by “chat activity bots,” Twitch said, which imitate interactions between streamers and their viewers.
Follow-botting is when an account is followed by bots. The accounts attempt to look as real as possible, Twitch warned. They are often found in “batches.”
“Artificial engagement and botting limit growth opportunities for legitimate broadcasters and are damaging to the community as a whole. False viewer growth is not conducive to establishing a career in broadcasting because the ‘viewers’ do not contribute to a healthy, highly engaged community,” Twitch said.