Blackmail, harassment, and abuse on Twitch
First of all, I was hesitant to write anything because the last thing I want is to take away from the brave survivors, sharing their horrific stories of sexual assault/misconduct/abuse. Seeing as some of the online abuse has stemmed from the same people that attacked me, and multiple friends saying that I should release the story, I will trust the public to understand that I only have good intentions here. I hope that is not misplaced… I have kept all of this private in an effort to protect myself, my family, and my community. The last thing I want to see is people that I love and support get attacked or blackmailed, like I did.
This all took place in 2019 and the events played out, as follows. Some of the timeline may be a little jumbled but everything here is factual.
1st Encounter: I received a raid during stream from someone I did not recognize. I was new to streaming and overjoyed. After some chatting, I got a very strange vibe from them. They were having their own conversation without engaging with me or anyone else. Then, derogatory terms were used so I banned one of them which prompted another to tell me that I shouldn’t have done that. It felt like a threat. The other also showed feigned shock and questioned why I did it. I didn’t really know how to handle the situation so I just banned them all and thought nothing of it. They started sending me XB messages(some Roblox video), inviting me to join parties, and eventually one of them joined mine. I guess it was an open party. Ugh. I was very naïve to all of this so had never taken proper precautions to protecting myself. I shut everything down instantly and hoped they would leave me alone.
2nd Encounter: Either the next day or the day after, I had new people in chat again, and they seemed fine but this is when things took a turn for the worse. I received phone calls from two different restaurants, saying they were outside to deliver the pizza I had ordered. I didn’t order pizza. After apologizing and explaining the situation to the delivery men, I came back to chat and they were laughing and asking how the pizzas were. I knew then they had my address and were trolling me. After another series of bans, they publicly tweeted out my phone number and address and demanded money. I reported the tweets and they were taken down quickly. That’s when I started monitoring the users in chat.
3rd Encounter: The next stream was the first time that I experienced DDossing. After about thirty minutes of going live, I saw the names that I had banned join the stream. I was contacting servers within seconds, my stream crashed, and my internet went down. After trying to get things back up and running, I received more pizza. Joy. I ended up contacting my ISP, who said they could do nothing since I owned my own modem and suggested unplugging it for a few hours and plugging it back in for a new IP address. I tried that, among other things, and the same thing happened.
I ended up buying a new modem, router, and VPN so after a week I was able to keep streaming without getting DDossed. The food delivery and blackmail continued happening off and on for about three weeks. Some days they would leave me alone (probably off harassing some other unfortunate soul) but then they would be right back sending pizza. One day was actually cheesecake but I think they found out I fucking LOVE cheesecake so they went back to just pizza. It was always Super Hawaiian too…sorry but bleh. There were Discord DMs as well, which I reported and the accounts were banned. I looked up their Bungie.net accounts and reported them there, along with their Xbox accounts but I do not know if any action was taken.
I managed to get through this, simply by ignoring, hoping, and shoring up cyber defenses. All the while, scared that I would have my door broken down someday by a SWAT team firing. No one should have to live like that. The purpose of sharing this story is just to add more fuel to the fire to convince social media and gaming platforms to do better about protecting their users. These criminals have gone on doing this to so many users with almost zero repercussions. The amount of reports and filings I did without any response was unacceptable. I hope more can be done. I know more can be done.