A Canadian man accused of spamming the popular streaming site ‘Twitch’ with a torrent of racist and homophobic messages has found himself in court facing criminal charges.
The suspect, Brandan Lukas Apple, is facing ‘Unprecedented’ Mischief Charges, and if convicted, could end up in prison. Mr Apple is accused of having spammed thousands of Twitch channels last year with thousands of racist and homophobic comments.
Canadian court documents state that Apple used a variety of different spambots to flood Twitch’s chat service and even went into great detail explaining how others could do the same on his own website. Mr Apple has been charged with “mischief in relation to computer data”.
Court reports state that between February and March 2017, the 20-year-old Brandan Apple allegedly used the specailised Twitch spam service ChatSurge to send multiple offensive messages to Twitch ChatSurge’s purpose entire purpose seems to be to “flood, destroy or simply demolish any Twitch.tv chatroom,” a tutorial video explains.
Some of the messages Apple is alleged to have sent are genuinely terrible, such as “Death to to all jews,” “Allah hates Gays KappaPride,” and “Get the black guy outta here.”
In addition to the examples shown, Twitch has said that in “over 375 user reports” they had received, several also included “false implications of viewbotting and soliciting child sex exploitation material.”
These other messages allegedly linked to disturbing images, solicited obscene material and accused streamers of using software bots to exaggerate their popularity.
Holding back the Flood
“Flooding overwhelms the chat service through the sheer volume of spam messages, ultimately disrupting the broadcaster’s stream and the viewers’ experience,” a statement from Twith read. “The volume of spam messages on the attacked channel was enormous. The bots were posting an average of 34 spam messages per minute, while on some channels the rate was 600 messages per minute.”
CBC News reported that Mr Apple is now subject to a civil order which restrains him from distributing “any robot, bot, crawler, spider, blacklisting software or other software” aimed at Twitch. This is in addition to the criminal charges he already faces. If convicted, Mr Apple, could face up to 10 years in prison.