If you are an avid viewer or aspiring streamer on Twitch, you may have noticed a few questionable names lurking in the community tab. You may have seen what are called “lurk bots”.
Lurking on Twitch refers to watching or leaving a stream on in the background whilst being inactive in chat. It is usually welcome because it helps the streamer grow by adding to the viewer count, thus granting more exposure in the Twitch algorithms and browse feature.
However, lurk bots do not contribute anything to the channels they lurk on. Instead, they clog up the “community” tab in which streamers and viewers can normally see a list of users watching the stream.
As far as anyone knows, most lurk bots are harmless aside from gunking up the community page. In my opinion, you should still ban them as there is no good reason for them to be there in the first place.
In a worst case scenario lurk bots may confuse channel mods who are using Mod View, a feature that lets mods see more information about users watching the stream and have quicker access to bans and timeouts, by adding in irrelevant users to the mix.
If you are a mod or the owner of a Twitch channel, you can use the “/ban” feature in the chat box to get rid of unneeded lurk bots. To ban a user, just type “/ban username” without including quotation marks, of course.
You want to be absolutely sure that every lurker and chat member you ax are deserving of the ban they receive. If they haven’t violated any rules or you aren’t sure if they are a bot, I would advise leaving them alone.
To get you started, I’ve compiled a list of 20 of the most common lurk bots found on Twitch:
All of these channels are verified lurk bots you can feel comfortable getting rid of. If you want a more complete list, Twitch Insights offers a tool which tells you how many channels each account is lurking in at the moment.
I would be careful using the Twitch Insights list as a guide for who to ban as some helpful bots are included, such as nightbot, a tool streamers use to add text commands to their streams.
If you are dealing with real people in chat who are being abusive, don’t be afraid to use the /timeout or /ban commands. Overusing bans to the point of censorship is never okay and makes the channel look draconian, but acting hostile, abusive, or breaking clearly defined rules is more than enough reason to give someone the boot.
Additionally, if you would like to give yourself or channel mods the heads up that a person seems like they may cross the line, feel free to use the /monitor command. This labels a user as suspicious in a way only mods and the channel owner can see.
Twitch also has a tool called Shared Ban Info, which allows you to collaborate with other channels regarding who has been banned.
A final tip for mods is to keep an eye out for lurk bots and ban them publicly on stream. This can deter potential unruly behavior in chat by letting everybody know there are mods around and they know how to use the /ban feature.
Are there any lurk bots not on the list you think are worthy of mention? Let us know in the comments!
This article (20 Verified Twitch Lurk Bots and How to Get Rid of Them) originally appeared at Phillip Schneider and may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author credit, and this copyright statement.