Twitch’s relationship with misinformation is complicated. In 2020, platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter grappled with their outsized roles in the creation and cultivation of conspiracy movements like QAnon. Misinformation troubled Twitch in a different way, but the platform emerged curiously un-plagued by a comparable extremism epidemic. Now, midway through 2021, Twitch is finally gearing up to combat misinformation.
It’s hot tub stream summer, and everybody’s got an opinion. This week, for example, the biggest streamer on Twitch, Félix “xQc” Lengyel, called hot tub streams “trash,” saying that they’re “the most pathetic thing we’ve seen on Twitch in forever” and petitioning for them to be removed from the front page. It was the latest in a long line of similar opinions from names both big and small that date back to when hot tub streams first popped off in March. But according to hot tub streamers, this trend, like any other, is already coming down from its peak.
Twitch trends come and go, but one thing remains constant: the endless debate around what women should be allowed to wear on the platform. Now it comes in a summery new flavor: hot tub streams. Recently, streamers have declared these broadcasts the new “meta,” outraging the usual suspects—but also leading some female streamers to voice skepticism as well.
Today, the top streamer on Twitch was forced to quit mid-stream because, he says, he forgot to pay his power bill. He is a millionaire. You hate to see it.
A blue car pulls up to a stop sign. Against all odds, it briefly, miraculously comes to a halt. Twitch chat goes ballistic. Numerous people spam “I was here” as pogchamp emotes flood in. This is Stopsigncam, a Twitch channel that suddenly has over 125,000 followers even though it’s just a camera trained on a single neighborhood intersection in Salem, Massachusetts.
Yesterday, a shooter opened fire at the King Soopers store in Boulder, Colorado and killed 10 people. Not long after the attack, a streamer, Dean Schiller, arrived on the scene and broadcast to an audience that topped out at nearly 30,000 concurrent viewers. The resulting video has been viewed over 650,000 times. Despite the visible presence of bodies, YouTube has decided against taking it down. Twitch, however, has said it will remove any such footage.
The Navy turned off text chat for today’s ‘Women of Warzone’ boot camp Twitch stream, so some viewers took to spamming the chat with bomb and fire emojis instead.