Sometimes we just want to watch our favorite streamers, not be thrust in the middle of the platform-wide drama. But new policies stirring up the community and polarizing gaming figures stoking the fire keep us ever-revolving around Twitch drama.
The Shady Side of Twitch
Twitch revealed its true colors with how they treated Ninja’s channel after he left. Twitch, disgruntled that Ninja left to join it’s streaming rival, Mixer, decided that they would damage his brand as much as possible while keeping his channel in line with the contract. Porn was shown on Ninja’s channel, though the CEO later apologized and said it was simply an “experiment.”
They don’t really care about small streamers, which are the number one contributors of content to the platform. This is why streamers are leaving Twitch to get started in Youtube and Facebook Gaming, which only strengthens their competition over them.
The U.S Army streamed on Twitch, though they had a hard time getting a dedicated viewer base. Many commenters were quick to give their negative opinion of the military, including veterans, who cast a light on the negative experiences they’d had during their time. The U.S Army was quick to delete and block multiple users from commenting and had to shut down the stream after backlash from the community, though the community fought back, claiming it was a violation of the first amendment to ban viewers who made negative remarks.
The chat isn’t the friendliest place on the Internet either. Twitch recently enacted a ban on the word “Simp” to make sure their chat rooms were safe and friendly. The usage of the word rose up over 97% percent in the span of a month.
That does mean that multiple, valid harassment cases are being swept under the rug. Even young children are the brunt end of sexist and racists jokes.
The Twitch Safety Advisory Council
This is a small band of people tasked with making Twitch a more productive, friendly, and entertaining platform. That is what we were told, at least, until we saw how the “power” of this council got to some of its members’ heads, particularly FerociouslySteph.
Before I talk about FerociouslySteph, it’s important to acknowledge her hand in the Twitch community. She’s the platform’s biggest transgender streamer and focuses on making the platform more inclusive for minorities otherwise marginalized in games. She absolutely deserved her spot on the council, but her views on the platform since her induction on the council have disturbed many.
For one, many viewers have often noted she’s very aggressive towards the majority of many beloved themes and has often remarked that she wanted certain streamers and content banned outright from the site. Were these streamers violating any of the site’s policies? No. They were just streamers and content that she didn’t like enough to claim they were white supremacists, though very little evidence was provided to back up these claims.
Even though Twitch apologized on her behalf and stated that its council members’ views aren’t inherently it’s own, the damage was done for many a viewer who found themselves tired of Twitch’s ongoing damage control.
So, what’s up with Twitch drama? Infighting, and not just community vs community anymore, but community vs Twitch. The platform dishes out one-sided deals to its prospect streamers and leaves smaller streamers without any genuine hope of making it. Their actions against their own streamers are what makes their competition stronger. The “It’s us versus them” attitude prevalent from the top execs down to the chat is degrading the entire platform, and Twitch couldn’t care less about it as long as a few select streamers still bring in crazy high numbers.