There is nothing that grinds my gears more than seeing people who bot, whether it’s viewers or followers. I was part of a great streaming group however I discovered the head partnered person was view botting himself because his so called glory days were over. I talked to him about it he refused to stop or apologize about it and so I made the tough choice to leave the group.
Now you do need to realize that there is a difference in view botting, you can either buy a program to view bot yourself or someone could set you up and view bot you. Please note this is about if you make the choice to do this, not if you are the victim.
View botting is when you have inflated numbers of viewers in your channel. For example you average 10-15 viewers in your channel each stream however one stream you suddenly have 100 “viewers”. Something is most likely wrong here, unless you are that one lucky person who was in the right place at the right time. Most of the time the bots will be silent in your chat as if they were all “lurking” in there, sometimes they will chat, however what they say doesn’t typically make sense and it usually has nothing to do with what is going on at that time. The best way to handle this situation if it does happen to you is to go “offline” with your stream and wait several minutes until they all leave your chat. While you are waiting for this to happen (can take up to 10 min with some of the newer and smarter bots out there) send out a tweet to @TwitchSupport letting them know that you are a victim of view botting with your twitch.tv channel.
Typically streamers that report view botting will not be punished so do not worry, you should be fine. When my so called friend was view and follow botting himself he pretended it wasn’t even happening, and when I asked he denied it. That was a huge red flag for me to start questioning things.
The other type of “botting” is a follow bot, which means you will be receiving anywhere from 30-500+ “fake” followers. There are several ways to see if this has happened. First most of those followers will not have an image or avatar for their profile, you'll only see the dark square with the lightning bolt. The next way is to open 5 random lightning bolt accounts in separate tabs and then go to all their “following” you will notice a pattern. They usually follow all the same people in the same order so it's quite obvious that this was a follower bot.
Another way to check out if someone has been follow botted is to look at the site Social Blade. Here is an example of someone who is botting below, and if we take a look on the left side under “Twitch Followers” then “Change”, you can see the daily increase/decrease of their followers. (Yes you can look up anyone's stats including your own!) This person, as you can see, they average 2 - 20 followers a day, then they have 4 days of 100+ which really sticks out like a sore thumb.
But let's kick it up another notch! Take a look on the right side of this image under “Twitch Channel Views”, these are UNIQUE views meaning each one is a different person/different location.
Now if you look at the line that has the date of 9/28/15 you can see this person received 199 follows, however when you look at channel views there is only 6 (meaning 6 new people to the channel). Now mathematically this doesn't make sense and I don't think people realize how silly this looks, only 6 new people and yet 199 follows?
Now I’ll be completely honest with you here; botting is illegal for partnered streamers, however it’s only frowned upon for non-partnered streamers. I’m not saying that you should bot, in fact I’m saying just the opposite. Botting can crush your entire streaming career because people will not look at you with trust or respect once they find out you’re falsely boosting your numbers. I will also say that at some point in your streaming career you will most likely get that urge to do it, (just as I was) thinking “lots of others do it” or “how much can it hurt” or “I’m curious about this”. Just step away from it because it’s addicting, and once you start it’s very difficult to stop.
Until next time…