Twitch’s security problems started long before this week’s hack

A massive security breach at Twitch has exposed a wealth of information pertaining to the website’s source code, unreleased projects, and even how much the top streamers make. As data analysts and journalists work to decipher what exactly is contained in the hundreds of gigabytes of information, others are still wondering how this happened.

© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Such a breach seemed like it was increasingly likely to some. The Verge has spoken to multiple sources who claim that during their time at Twitch, the company valued speed and profit over the safety of its users and security of its data.


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This data breach, which Twitch blames on an error to a server configuration, is the latest in a series of security and moderation problems that have plagued the Amazon-owned streaming platform. In August, hate raids in which marginalized streamers were subjected to uncontrollable numbers of bots spamming hate speech erupted across Twitch.

Streamers banded together to create the #twitchdobetter hashtag and organized a walkout on September 1st to bring attention to the problem and spur Twitch to deploy safety measures to stem the hate tide. In response, Twitch acknowledged streamers’ complaints, urged patience, and promised it was working on tools that would help to better protect streamers and their communities.

“You’re asking us to do better, and we know we need to do more to address these issues,” Twitch said in its response.

But hate raids didn’t just suddenly appear this summer and, according to a former Twitch employee, alarms were raised about the potential abuses of raids long before their hate variety exploded in August.

One source, who spoke to The Verge on the condition of anonymity, worked at Twitch from 2017 to 2019. They described an atmosphere where employees were very concerned about…