Game-streaming site Twitch is going after bots that make users look more popular than they really are

Red carpet papparaziGetty Images EntertainmentSome video game fans pay money to appear more popular online.

Video game streaming site Twitch is going to war against online shops that sell fake viewers for livestreams, Polygon reports.

The streaming service, which Amazon acquired in 2014, is taking legal action against a group of online shops and seeking to sue them for “trademark infringement, unfair competition, cybersquatting, fraud, breach of contract and tortious interference.”

There are several reasons why someone would pay for more viewers and Twitch subscribers. Sure, everyone wants to be more popular, but a higher viewer count could also encourage more real users to watch a livestream, and possibly to donate money too.

Another reason for buying followers is to buy them for someone else in the hope that Twitch detects the activity and blocks their account. Twitch published a blog post about its legal action in which it explained how it detects fake viewers. “We employ a range of technological solutions to detect false viewers and remove them,” the company said. “This is an ongoing effort that requires regular maintenance and engineering, and one we’re dedicated to continuing and making even more effective.”

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