Twitch streamers rally against hate raiding dilemma
Over the past few days you may have seen the #TwitchDoBetter the hashtag is gaining momentum on social networks like Twitter. You might have wondered why this is breaking out now and what it is about. Twitch is a business, after all, and businesses can always do better. But this recent campaign is specifically meant to highlight how the platform continually lets down its marginalized creators.
Much of the countryside has rallied around a February 2018 tweet from Twitch, publicly asking for accountability. “Please watch us closely and hold us accountable,” the company wrote. “This first update clarifies our guidelines, but we know we will be judged on how we apply them. “
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In the years that followed, Twitch streamers, especially queer streamers and streamers of color, continued to suffer steadily. harassment campaigns, tracking-kicking, and largely orchestrated ”heinous raids. ” In certain cases, blocking an offender means they’ll just create a bunch of other accounts and continue the harassment, due to how easy it is to sign up on Twitch. And there are few protections in place to prevent troll-approved tactics like persistent IP stream recording.
Oh, and Twitch takes a ton of revenue as well.
Twitch, who was bought by amazon in 2014 for a hair of less than $ 1 billion, divides subscription revenue fairly with the creators: half goes to the streamer, half goes to the platform (which is owned by one of the richest companies on the planet). But streamers say those scales should shift, especially if Twitch fails to implement tools or policies designed to protect its most marginalized members of its community. (When attached for comment by Kotaku, a Twitch representative did not immediately have answers as to whether or not the company was considering changing its policies.)
“Currently, the security tools on the platform are extremely disappointing,” said Jess Go, a Twitch streamer. Kotaku via email, noting that Twitch’s current crop of moderation tools actually ends up flagging and cutting “far more of my community celebrating themselves and their sexualities than any insult or problematic language.”
As a result, “Many marginalized creators find it best to turn off the currently available Twitch tools and let their own community moderate their spaces,” Go said. “If we’re doing all of this extra work, why is Twitch taking so much? of the profits we generate? “
Ceddy Lopez, a Twitch partner streamer, said Kotaku via email that Twitch would ideally offer creators a 70/30 split, as in Twitch taking 30% of sub-income. This figure is included in the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter, although some say it should be as high as 80/20.
Importantly, Twitch could make it more difficult for users to create new accounts by requiring new users to register with a phone number. That way repeat offenders couldn’t just create a ton of new accounts to bypass bans and blocks. Many steamers suggest that Twitch could also implement a system that automatically blocks all forms of hate speech, speech that should already be blocked at the platform level in the first place.
And in a genuine commitment to fostering a diverse platform, Lopez said, Twitch could ban streamers who use their platform to harass other streamers. “Twitch is not going to shut down if a few problematic streamers are cut for example.”
Read more: Twitch will finally tell streamers why they were banned
“I’ve been through tons of harassment as a flamboyant, outspoken Asian man, but I’ll always continue to broadcast there because it’s like a home for a lot of us,” Lopez said. “We sincerely want a platform that we are proud of. “