An anonymous hacker leaked payroll information for every streamer on Twitch yesterday, and predictably, the revealed incomes have become an inescapable topic of conversation for streamers in their Twitch chats and on social media. The range of reactions to the leak has been vast, with some streamers making light of the matter, and others seeing it as an opportunity to spotlight longstanding issues with the livestreaming platform.
Yesterday, thousands of streamers abandoned Twitch for 24 hours in protest of its ongoing facilitation of harassment campaigns known as hate raids. While the Amazon-owned streaming platform has yet to implement proposed changes to the controversial raid system, it’s clear what some previously dismissed as a small movement has had a big impact, potentially costing Twitch roughly 22% of its peak concurrent traffic for the day.
Over the past few days, you might have seen the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag pick up steam on social media networks like Twitter. You might’ve further wondered why it’s popping now, and what it’s all about. Twitch is a company, after all, and companies can always, always do better. But this recent campaign is specifically meant to shine a light on how the platform continually lets its marginalized creators down.
What does it mean to be authentic on Twitch? Who is real and who is fake on a platform where everybody is a brand, but also where a cornerstone of that brand is the appearance of down-to-earth chillness? This is the implicit question of the week on Twitch, and it’s all thanks to Imane “Pokimane” Anys.
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.
On March 14, Ludwig Ahgren started a stream with no set end date. Last night, an entire month later, it finally ended.
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.
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.
Ludwig Ahgren, a Twitch streamer with nearly 2 million followers, has never been one to shy away from stunts. His latest is especially audacious, albeit probably not great for his long-term health: He’s running a “never-ending” marathon stream powered by subscriptions. Each subscription adds another 10 seconds to the total amount of time he’s required to stream. Sunday night, he went to sleep with 18 hours left on the clock. When he woke up on Monday, viewers had kicked in enough subs to boost it up to 27 hours. There’s no end in sight.
It might be an understatement to say that popular Minecraft YouTuber and streamer George “GeorgeNotFound’’ Davidson had a weird weekend. Within two days, he got banned from Twitch, possibly un-banned, definitely banned again, and unbanned (again?). Why? “Harassment via username,” according to Twitch. Problem is, the only person he could have possibly been harassing was himself.
Streamer Alex Zedra—the face behind an actual character in Call of Duty—was hosting some Warzone the other day when she and her community noticed some pretty suspect behaviour on display from the two people they were watching, who have now had their Twitch channels suspended for cheating.
CodeMiko is nervous. I can tell because she tells me. “This is, like, my first interview ever,” she says over a Discord call. “I’m sorry, I’m a little shy.” It’s December of 2020, and Miko’s entire life is about to change.
Today, Twitch released its first-ever transparency report, a lengthy, stat-based look at the platform’s safety initiatives over the past year. It contains some interesting, albeit granular, information about Twitch’s efforts to cut down on hateful conduct, sexual harassment, and even terrorist propaganda. But it also fails to clear the haze from the question that has surrounded many of Twitch’s most perplexing decisions: Why?
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.
Earlier this week, it came to light that Twitch was running ads in blatant opposition to the Amazon warehouse worker unionization effort in Bessemer, Alabama. Streamers, who had no say in whether or not these ads appeared during their broadcasts, were outraged. Today, Twitch has removed the ads, saying that they never should have run in the first place.