Following a wave of targeted bot attacks targeting Indonesian VTuber channels, several Hololive VTubers have been banned from YouTube.
Virtual YouTubers, or VTubers, are content creators who use digital avatars to replace their physical selves. This trend has exploded in popularity, with VTubers now accounting for some of the most popular channels on both YouTube and Twitch. While the number of VTubers and their audiences has increased since 2020, the group of content creators has received significant backlash, the most recent of which occurred on YouTube.
These bots went from account to account, spamming malicious and offensive comments and using sexually explicit images as profile pictures, causing YouTube’s automated system to shut down the channel.
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 that these measures are ineffective against the bots. Targeted bot attacks have been launched against VTubers like Kobo Kaneru, Lulana Winternyx, Mika Melatika, and Keyla Estella.
While some of YouTube’s most popular VTubers have had success reclaiming their accounts, others have had difficulty navigating the platform’s appeals process. VTubers have publicly expressed their dissatisfaction with YouTube’s treatment of smaller creators, forcing them to create an entirely new channel in the interim and start from scratch.
Several VTubers have defected to Twitch, which is owned by Amazon. Twitch has faced countless hate raids and actively implemented solutions in both defenses and appeals over the last year because of its VTuber audience.
While YouTube may be losing VTuber content creators as a result of an increase in botted raids, the creators now have another platform to call home for the time being.