Swatting, as defined by Oxford Languages, is “the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address” This is a term that has unfortunately become popular as Twitch and other live streaming services have become mainstream.
With the easy accessibility of streamers’ and celebrities’ public information on the internet, trolls and haters can easily find out where someone lives in order to create a swatting incident. Typically, there are no fundamental reasons for swatting someone other than getting a laugh and witnessing it live. However, people have died from swatting, and sometimes people’s intentions are to hurt the streamer or celebrity.
This is a problem that is becoming more common and recognized as streaming services grow, and police have tried to come up with solutions in order to make sure that the people getting swatted will be safe, such as putting their names on a list that requires the cops to call them before raiding their house.
Ethan and Hila Klein, Bugha, Nate Hill, Clix, and many more streamers are victims of swatting, and it is absolutely horrid that people have to go through something that can potentially cause trauma and physical harm..
While swatting is rare considering how many internet personalities there are, this is a topic that needs to be discussed more within the social media community.
Twitch, Youtube, and other platforms have amazing attributes to them, but unfortunately, a lack of privacy and a risk of being invaded comes along with being famous. My intention in this article is not to overshadow great streamers and websites, but to bring light to a sensitive issue that many people in this community have personally gone through or witnessed people they know go through.