The Peterborough gamer exposing the slew of racist and sexist abuse experiences online

  • Watch Graham Stothard's report

A Peterborough gamer has spoken out about the slew of racist and sexist threats and abuse she encounters on a weekly basis.

Saskia Cole, 27, says she is regularly called the “N-word”, a “slave” and has been threatened with sexual assault.

Saskia has been streaming for five years. This is when a gamer plays online and a live video of them playing is broadcast to fans or subscribers who can watch along as they play.

The examples of abuse she showed ITV Anglia, were from playing Activision’s Call of Duty game. She says the problem goes much wider.

In a statement Activision said

“We do not tolerate racism, hatred or harassment of any form.  We condemn this behaviour in the strongest terms.

“The actions we have taken to confront such behaviour include banning players for racist and hate-oriented names, implementing new technology and making it easier for players to report offensive in-game behaviour.”

“We will continue to invest in and deploy additional measures aimed not only at enforcement of our policies, but also prevention and education.”

Twitch, which is the streaming platform Saskia and many other gamers use, said they do not tolerate harassing behaviour and they encourage users to report any instances of violation of policy. They say they take action in all verified cases. 

But Saskia says more needs to be done. In most cases, reporting people is not effective, and the continued torrent of hate is exhausting. 

She has banned hundreds of people from speaking to her, but as a result has become a victim of ‘hate raids’. This is where multiple social media accounts target you across different platforms with vile abuse and threats of violence - both sexual and physical.

Saskia Cole exposes the worst abuse, on videos for her YouTube Channel. Credit: Saskia Cole/YouTube.

She has started reporting the worst examples to the police, but tracking people down via their online IDs can be difficult.

She wants more well known members of the online community to speak out about it, as well as make reporting easier on the games themselves, and make online identification easier.

This would mean the most prolific and aggressive offenders could be located by the police and, if the abuse is deemed illegal, held to account for their actions.