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Twitch takes legal action following spambot incident

Brandan Lukus Apple faces "mischief in relation to computer data" charge over 150,000 spam messages across 1,000 channels

Twitch is taking legal action against a Canadian man responsible for "flooding" hundreds of its user channels with spam messages.

Brandan Lukus Apple, who lives in British Columbia, faces a charge of "mischief in relation to computer data", as detailed in a document Twitch filed with Port Coquitlam provincial court last month.

According to CBC News, Apple is already subject to a restraining order preventing him from creating or selling "any robot, bot, crawler, spider, blacklisting software or other software" that could harm Twitch.

Both relate to events that started in February 2017, when Apple "wilfully [caused] multiple repetitive messages to be transmitted" across 1,000 channels. The Port Coquitlam court filing stated that the number of messages sent was as high as 150,000.

The messages, which were sent at the rate of 600 a minute on some channels, led to, "hundreds of individual reports regarding spam messages containing racism, homophobia, sexual harassment, links to shock imagery, false implications of view-botting and soliciting child sex exploitation material."

Twitch has said that it took 300 employee hours to trace the activity back to a site called chatsurge.net, and subsequently to Apple. The order restraining chatsurge.net was issued in May 2017, but Twitch is now taking the matter further with its charge against Apple.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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