Attacks target VTubers on YouTube.
Several Hololive VTubers have been banned from YouTube following a massive wave of targeted bot attacks, focusing on specifically Indonesian VTuber channels.
VTubers, or virtual YouTubers, are content creators that use digital surrogates for their physical form. This trend has immensely grown and popularized, as on both YouTube and Twitch VTubers now make up some of the most-watched channels. While VTubers and their audiences have grown since 2020, the cluster of content creators has faced significant backlash, with the most recent coming on YouTube.
These bots have gone from account to account, spamming malicious and offensive comments while hosting sexually explicit images as their profile pictures, forcing YouTube’s automated system to shut the channel down.
While many VTubers, such as Zen Gunawan, have advised streamers to disable YouTube’s Live Redirect feature and activate subscriber and slow mode, it appears these defenses have little effect on the bot mob. VTubers such as Kobo Kaneru, Lulana Winternyx, Mika Melatika, and Keyla Estella have all been caught in the crosshairs of targeted bot attacks.
While some of the platform’s most popular VTubers have seen some luck retrieving their accounts, others have struggled through YouTube’s appeal process. VTubers have publicly vented their frustrations around YouTube’s disregard for its smaller creators, being forced to create an entirely new channel for the meantime and start from the ground up.
Several VTubers have jumped ship and moved to the Amazon-backed Twitch. Being far more familiar with its VTuber audience, Twitch has faced countless hate raids and actively implemented solutions in both defenses and appeals over the past year.
While YouTube may be bleeding VTuber content creators due to their spike in botted raids, the content creators at least have another platform to call home for the immediate future.