Video: The Dark History of Swatting: Gaming's Disturbing Trend
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History of Swatting

Video: The dark history of swatting — Gaming’s disturbing trend

This gaming issue has traumatized its victims and even caused physical harm
This article is over 2 years old and may contain outdated information

Twitch chat can be one of the most toxic places on the whole planet. Whether it be the endless calls of suicide baiters, racist emotes, demoralizing digs or anything else from the hundreds of things they’ve come up with over the years, chat can always do something to make you regret getting out of bed in the morning.

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But, sometimes viewers with an axe to grind can’t be content with negative words. Sometimes they take it upon themselves to violate a streamers personal life. They send armed men and women to invade someone’s home and strip them of their sense of safety, putting them at risk of bodily injury or worse…all for the sake of a laugh.

Swatting has always been an issue of intense discussion in gaming circles. But, over time, it has spiked in both intensity and frequency against top streamers.

So, today we are investigating the history of Twitch’s dangerous issue and long-standing problem, swatting.

What is swatting?

Swatting is the act of deceiving police into thinking there’s an active threat at a particular address with the goal of baiting them  into dispatching a heavily armed force to that location. This harassment tactic has been used against high-profile personalities of all kinds.

It’s been a persistent problem with live streamers, in particular, literally since the formation of the medium. Justin Kan, the founder of both Justin.tv and Twitch, was famously swatted during his first marathon live stream; the marathon that gave birth to live streaming as we know it.

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