Twitch Responds To Allegations Against Streamers On The Platform
Amid allegations some of Twitch's big-name streamers have used their status for abuse, Twitch has released a statement.
Update 6/30: Amid all the recent Twitch bans over alleged abuse and misconduct within the streaming community, President Donald Trump's Twitch account has also been suspended temporarily, with a Twitch spokesperson citing "hateful" material as the reason: "Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed." The ban points to a wider crackdown among Twitch and even other sites, like Reddit, against content that violates its terms of services. Reddit recently banned The_Donald forum, among thousands of others, after adjusting its hate speech policies.
Update 6/28: Following the promise earlier this week to begin handing out suspensions, Twitch has banned multiple Twitch streamers who have been accused of sexual abuse. In what appears to be a seemingly unrelated action, DrDisrespect has also been banned, but no reason has been publicly given. It appears the ban is permanent. However, he says he is not sure why the ban was handed out and has only tweeted a single time since his ban.
Update 6/24: Twitch has issued a new statement on the current investigations into Twitch streamers accused of sexual abuse and harassment. "We are reviewing each case that has come to light as quickly as possible while ensuring appropriate due diligence as we assess these serious allegations," the statement reads. "We’ve prioritized the most severe cases and will begin issuing permanent suspensions in line with our findings immediately."
A selection of Twitch streamers stopped streaming for 24 hours in protest of Twitch's lack of movement on the issue. This includes Ray Fisher, who posted on his Twitter that he had been called racial slurs while playing games and wanted reform in the gaming community.
Twitch notes that they're seeking more information in cases where the incident happened outside of a Twitch-related event, and in other cases they "will need to report the case to the proper authorities who are better placed to conduct a more thorough investigation." They encourage anyone affected to use the confidential reporting tools on each streamer's channel page.
"We’re also committed to continuing our efforts to make Twitch a safer environment with more tools to combat harassment and hate," the statement continues. "We have work underway including a review of our Hateful Conduct and Harassment policies, enhanced offensive username detection, improvements to AutoMod and our Banned Words list, and other projects focused on reducing harassment and hateful conduct."
"We acknowledge that we can’t singlehandedly tackle pervasive issues across the gaming and broader internet communities, but we take our responsibility as a service for our community seriously," the statement continues. "We will continue to assess accusations against people affiliated with Twitch and explore ways Twitch can collaborate with other industry leaders on this important issue."
New reports continue to come in against numerous Twitch streamers. At the time of writing, there is no acknowledgment of the accusations against many of Twitch's streamers on the site's front page.
Original story follows.
It could no longer be said that gaming is having a #metoo moment, but rather an ongoing #metoo movement. Amid a new wave of allegations surfacing on social media, those who have previously named their abusers are now demanding to know why the platforms that host known abusers' content have not acted to take them down--with Twitch at the center of the controversy.
With multiple tweets claiming that Twitch has been given information on how some of their big-name partners are using that platform to abuse women, and chosen not to act on it, streamers and fans called on Twitch and its CEO Emmett Shear to step up.
I'm sick of being quiet. The CEO of @Twitch, @eshear, was asked in an All Hands meeting about partners using their platforms to abuse women- specifically using my case as an example. He chuckled, said "wow, the things that go on on our platform, can't really comment," & moved on.— ✨ Starling ✨ (@YourStarling) June 22, 2020
Shear has now shared an internal Twitch email sent on the subject, while Twitch has put out an official statement, but some don't think the statement is enough.
There's been a lot of important conversation happening over the previous couple days, and I've heard your voices. I'd like to share the email I just sent internally to the company on the topic. pic.twitter.com/B1V34lT9EI— Emmett Shear (@eshear) June 23, 2020
Now, people are calling for a Twitch blackout to take place on Wednesday 24, asking streamers to stay off Twitch for 24 hours.
WE ARE CALLING FOR A #TWITCHBLACKOUT— 🔴LIVE🔴Third Artifact #BIM (@third_artifact) June 22, 2020
In effort to get @twitch @eshear to take note of:
- sexual harassment, assault and rape
We are asking streamers of all sizes to WITHHOLD FROM STREAMS ON WED 6/24 12am - 11:59pm
MAKE THEM NOTICE
Others are going further by pledging to cancel their ongoing Twitch subs and donate to streamers directly, without giving Twitch money through subscriptions or bits.
This entire month.— Y O S H 🧢 #BlackLivesMatter (@ItsYoshh) June 22, 2020
I will be cancelling all of my subs and not giving any bits on Twitch.
I will be donating to all of my streamer friends DIRECTLY.
Want a true #twitchblackout? That's gonna be it.
Stop giving them money until things ACTUALLY change.
While the movement is centered around allegations that Twitch partners and affiliates have used their position to abuse women, those involved are also concerned about the amount of racism, homophobia, and transphobia that often goes unchecked by big-name streamers.
In the past, Twitch has banned the accounts of streamers whose abuse has been investigated and charged by authorities, such as Thomas Cheung, who was arrested after an undercover sting in Atlanta to catch child predators. However these punishments haven't always been strict across the board.
In December 2018, Australian streamer MrDeadMoth was arrested and charged with assault after appearing to attack his partner during a live Twitch stream. Despite the arrest, however, MrDeadMoth was initially only given a 14 day suspension from Twitch--which was later lengthened in response to community outcry.
Even as parts of the community call for a blackout, Twitch is no-doubt preparing for an influx of new streamers after Microsoft announced the end of Mixer. Twitch has extended the olive branch to streamers left without a platform, with a tweet addressing the Mixer community.
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