Twitch suffers data breach amid demand for a less toxic environment


Marco Verch Professional Photographer |

Yesenia Barrios

Twitch, the video game live-streaming platform owned by Inc. suffered a data breach on Oct. 6, with more than 120 gigabytes of sensitive data leaked on 4Chan, an online chat forum.

The user that leaked the information claimed to have the company’s source code, the foundation for software and program creation. If leaked, it can open the possibility for other hacks.

Twitch representatives have confirmed the breach and wrote on Twitter, “Our teams are working with urgency to understand the extent of this.”

Amazon responded by saying it was an error in server configuration which might have facilitated the hack, according to reports from Reuters.

The 4Chan user claimed to have leaked the information with the intent to harm the platform’s business, according to The Wall Street Journal. The leak also revealed how much top earning streamers make. Critical Role, a Dungeons and Dragons web series, was the top earner, bringing in $9.6 million between August 2019 and October 2021, CNet reported. Some streamers confirmed the numbers matched what they earned over social media.

A photo of Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos was also posted with a user commenting, “Jeff Bezos paid $970 million for this, we’re giving it away for FREE.” The user also wrote “part one” as part of the post, indicating there might be more information to be leaked.

Originally named, the streaming platform was bought by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million. Twitch has become one of the world’s top streaming sites. It gives users the opportunity to have a discussion while games are being played by paying a monthly subscription fee, with options starting at $4.99.

The data breach comes at a particularly bad time for the company. Twitch users have been demanding the company act against rising hate and harassment in the platform. Hateful content has always been a problem for Twitch, but it has gotten worse over the past few months.

On Aug. 11 and Aug. 20, the hashtag “#TwitchDoBetter” was trending. But, after little action was taken by Twitch, users Shinneypen, Lucia Everblack and RekItRaven created “#ADayOffTwitch,” and on Sep. 1, many streamers boycotted the platform, The Verge reported.

The 4Chan user also criticized the company’s handling of the toxic environment that some users have created by spreading racist, sexist and transphobic comments. “Their community is also a disgusting cesspool, so to foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space, we have completely pwned them,” said the 4Chan user. Hateful content has always been a problem for Twitch, but users have reported that it has gotten worse over the past few months.

Electronic Arts Inc., a videogame company and owner of the popular soccer video game FIFA, recently suffered a similar breach in June, as reported by Catalin Cimpanu on The Record. The hacker threatened to sell the information obtained in the black market, but no offers were made. The company has not suffered any major damages from the breach since.

While it is too soon to tell, Amazon’s stock has not seen any dramatic drop since the breach was first reported.