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Twitch Install's Social Experiment Failed to Accomplish Goal

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November 5
1:46 AM 2015

A bizarre idea just occurred recently in the Twitch live streaming video platform. A group called themselves "twitchintheshell" planned to install Linux on a virtual machine, based on the most popular keystroke entered by Twitch users. The idea named asTwitch Install has ended in a couple of days after being hijacked by botnet installing other Linux distro.

Slashdot announced on Sunday that Twitch Install's idea has been rebooted by the community. Twitch Install started as an idea to install Arch Linux on a virtual machine, using a command line generated from the most popular keystroke in Twitch chat. However, in just two days, a botnet has hijacked the process and installed Gentoo Linux, Arch Linux rival.

The idea was based on the previous idea of Twitch Plays Pokemon a year ago. When a game Pokemon Red was broadcasted on Twitch live streaming, the  game was controlled based on users keystroke from Twitch chat. In the first day of the event, thousands of people logged in to Twitch and entered their command to control the main character of the game. 

Twitch is a live streaming video platform, launched in 2011 and designated to become a popular live streaming of game related content. In 2014, Amazon acquire Twitch for US$970 million and the acquisition was finalized in September 2014. In the acquisition process, Amazon beat Google who was also interested in acquiring the video platform. 

In order to attract visitors, Twitch made some web events dubbed as social experiment. The first one was Twitch Plays Pokemon that successfully attracted more than 1 million users in the process. The bar then needs to be raised higher. Ars Technica reported that Twitch playing Pokémon was easy mode. So, Twitch viewers will be invited to do something altogether more challenging with the installation of Arch Linux on a virtual machine. However, the social experiment event attracted not only common users but hackers deploying botnet.

My Broadband News reported that botnet, or also known as zombie army, hijacked the Twitch in the Shell chat, and managed to partially install Gentoo. Arch Linux and Gentoo are both distributors of the GNU/Linux operating system, with Gentoo considered a rival of Arch Linux. In the end, Twitch in the Shell community thwarted the botnet and was in the process of reinstalling Arch Linux. 

Twitch Installs is a publicity stunt with bizzarre idea to crowdsource installation of Arch Linux in their virtual machine. An idea called as social experiment has failed because of a botnet that installed Gentoo Linux, another distro of Linux, considered as rival of Arch Linux.

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