I thought that ignoring a troll would make them stop but I’ve been being harassed by a former community member for 3-4 years.
If you’ve been a part of my community for a very long time, you might remember a user called ChainBS. They still stream on Twitch under that account actually but they used to be a community member of ours. They were publicly very active and present in every stream.
Back when I had my DMs open, they let me know that they were interested in me romantically. I had gotten a lot of messages like that before from well-meaning but confused people just like them. I actually had a cut-and-paste type of message for these situations. It was a message that tried to be very kind because at the time, I thought that most of these people were nice but just really confused.
ChainBS’s display of unwanted affection happened just before 9/11/2018. I was able to look up this time frame because his message was the catalyst for me to write my first stream-related blog, now taken down, but originally published on that day. What was it about? It was about why you shouldn’t randomly confess your love to streamers.
After I rejected them and even directed them to the post, they seemed to be okay with everything and I naively thought that we could continue as a streamer and a community member.
They were so present and positive in stream and interactive with other community members that they even became a mod for a short time. Then, things got really uncomfortable.
They let me know that they weren’t sure they wanted to mod for me anymore. Okay, no problem. But their reason? They told me it was because we didn’t seem to be heading towards a sexual relationship and they had needs…which they described. I was shocked and disgusted and for some reason I still tried to be nice because I just couldn’t understand how this person who I thought I had an understanding with was actually disgusting and delusional…
I banned them on everything, or so I thought. I forgot about Snapchat. They sent me a creepy snapchat video of themselves holding a Valentine’s Day postcard I had mailed to them. Why had I mailed them a Valentine’s Day card? Because we had had a V-day stream in 2019 where we made a postcard on stream and people could join a raffle to win one and have it printed and mailed to them. We probably had 10-15 postcard winners and ChainBS was one of them. Each postcard had a funny message. I vaguely remember his because he uses references to it to harass me. It was some kind of joke about him dating a monkey and the letter was from a “monkeygirl.” I mailed out 10-15 similar postcards to others with funny or sweet messages. It was supposed to make recipients feel special and laugh. It was not meant to imply that I was actually dating any of them.
I blocked ChainBS on Snapchat and after that just stopped using Snapchat entirely. I closed my Discord DMs entirely. They started ban evading. This was in early 2019. I remember the mods and I banning and reporting but nothing ever came of it.
They have continued to impose their presence in various ways over the years and to this very day. Over the past 3 years, they have continued ban evading, coming into my stream to make me uncomfortable, finding ways to interact with me on various media, they came into one of our community movie nights on discord at least once.
I think they get off on letting me know that I can’t get rid of them and that they’re still actively watching me and able to interact with me. Including the fact that I know I’m being harassed but no one else does (except mods) because I don’t want to give attention to this person. But, you know what? It’s been over 3 years of this and they are clearly not going away. Not talking about it is NOT helping me.
Recently, they commented on my Instagram with the account @cheeseypotatoes_henricksen
They left an innocuous message so it would seem normal to anyone else but ChainBS is fully aware that I do not want to interact with them. I banned them years ago and have not conducted any contact or retaliation outside of the normal (banning/blocking/reporting). Their comment was a clear message to me that said “you can’t get rid of me”
Their main method of letting me know they’re around is via follow usernames. That way, they can send a message using the name while bypassing the safety restrictions implemented in the chat that require an account to be verified and of a certain age to interact. There have been so many of these usernames but I never really collected them before. We’d banned/reported in the past but I thought this person would one day just leave me alone and I wanted to forget it completely.
Some of those usernames are:
A couple that I suspect are:
There are so many more that I suspect and ones that we’ve banned over the years that are so old I don’t even have them on my banned users list anymore or maybe a lot of those accounts have been deleted, possibly cleaned up by Twitch.
This week, ChainBS followed multiple times. They followed with “iluchain.” Because I read every follow and say thanks, this was an attempt to get me to say a facsimile of “I love you Chain” live on stream. The next day, they followed with “saveourrelationshipplz” and “remembermonkeygirl.” The format, the reference to that V-day giveaway card, and the fact that these were both freshly made accounts created and followed one after the other made it clear that they were both from ChainBS.
I have never had a relationship with this person. Them saying “saveourrelatoinshipplz” is scary. Their obsession is scary. Their persistence is scary.
I have reported these usernames and ChainBS again. I sent an email to partnerhelp that sent me back an automated response about how to use Twitch’s reporting function. I sent another to the contact email for harassment during the PRIDE campaign which I am a part of this month and I was just informed that this issue is being escalated and I’ll be kept apprised if action is taken. I’m really lucky to be a part of the campaign and to have had that email. I truly hope that Twitch does something about this person because it blows my mind that they are still streaming on the platform while also using it as their main vehicle for persistent harassment.
I think my best option now is to turn off follow alerts altogether which I don’t really want to do but if this doesn’t change, I have to do what’s best for my own peace of mind and remove features that are being used to harass me.
When we got those follows yesterday, I tried not to let anyone know it bothered me. I decided to end stream right then but I did my best to end it as normal. But once stream ended, I broke down in tears of frustration, disgust, fear, and helplessness. I just want this person to leave me alone.
Thank you for reading my story. Telling it was very important to me. My silence and hope that it would just stop if I ignored, banned, blocked, reported, that is, following what you’re “supposed to do” changed nothing and only fueled my harasser to continue. I think they felt like we shared some kind of secret. But we don’t. We don’t share anything. Letting other people know is empowering because it’s not a secret, it’s harassment. And we shouldn’t feel like we have to ignore trolls to the last breathe of sanity we have.
I look forward to the continued improvement on the Twitch platform and others like it to keep content creators safe. This is not my only harassment story and if you’re a content creator for long enough, you probably have at least one, too.
I hope for a future where that isn’t the case.