Twitch Bans Pokemon Go Cheaters From Site

twitch pokemon go
(Photo: Twitch/Niantic)

Pokemon Go has a cheating problem. Automated bot programs and GPS spoofing have allowed thousands of players to get ahead of the competition by quickly leveling up and amassing hordes of top level Pokemon without ever leaving their home. Now, those players have laid claim to Pokemon gyms around the world, stacking the deck with Dragonites and other hard to get Pokemon with CPs of 3,000 or higher.

Many of these automated bots and GPS spoofing programs became popular thanks to Twitch, the online video game streaming service. Hundreds of Twitch users streamed themselves cheating in Pokemon Go for weeks, giving live tutorials on how to access and use these bot programs while making money on the side. Twitch refused to take action against these users, even though violating third party terms of service was a clear violation the site's own terms of service.

Yesterday, Twitch finally decided to take action, announcing that Pokemon Go players were prohibited from using bots or GPS spoofs while streaming on their site. "Recently we issued a statement that streaming content on our services which violates third-party terms of service or other user agreements is a violation of our own Terms of Service," Twitch wrote in a short blog post on their site. "This also includes cheating in online multiplayer games as defined and enforced by the game developer. Today we would like to make clear that this policy also holds true for Pokémon GO content on Twitch."

This ban presumably includes the (now defunct) "Twitch Plays Pokemon Go" channel, which used an account controlled by a Twitch chat room to control an account GPS spoofed into New York City.

Players that stream on Twitch while using a GPS spoof or bot program will receive a "strike" against their account. Twitch typically gives players a warning for a first violation, a 24 hour suspension for a second violation, and a permanent ban for breaking the rules a thrid time.

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Niantic has promised that bans are coming to accounts that jumped ahead of cheating, so hopefully Niantic can wipe out what's become a serious problem for the month old game.