If allowed to chatter and meme unchecked, Twitch chat can grow into an unstoppable avalanche of ugly behaviour. Many streamers rely on at least a handful of volunteer or paid moderators, as well as chat bots that allow streamers to auto-block specific terms, stop spam before it starts, and quarantine questionable comments. Yesterday, Twitch accidentally banned one of the most popular bots, Nightbot.
According to the official Nightbot Twitter account, the ban was the result of a “falsified” DMCA takedown notice from Digiturk, a Turkish TV provider, or somebody impersonating it. Kotaku reached out to Digiturk to find out if the copyright claim actually came from the company, but did not receive a reply by publication.
Twitch tends to act pretty quickly on copyright-related issues, sometimes pulling the plug on accused channels and then reviewing the situation more rigorously afterward. While Nightbot was initially set to pay for its alleged crimes with 24 hours in the digital jailhouse, Twitch ended up releasing it after around five minutes. The ensuing Nightbot outage, however, lasted roughly 45 minutes, as Twitch also revokes application access when channels are banned.
It’s odd that a near-ubiquitous moderation bot could be banned, especially for issues related to copyright. However, Nightbot has a Twitch account and channel—albeit not one that it uses to stream. Rather, it needs a channel so that it can act like a regular user, at which point streamers can give it moderation privileges in their chats and unlock its functionality. All that in mind, it’s highly unlikely that Nightbot was violating any Digiturk-held copyrights, given that its Twitch channel is just a shell. And yet, somehow, here we are.