Social media provides endless amounts of entertaining content, but moderating all that content in a fair and consistent way seems to be more than these platforms can accomplish.
Twitch is the largest live streaming platform in the world, with many other platforms trying to chip away at its market share. But the company is struggling to respond to user concerns regarding bans and suspensions.
In one recent high profile incident the slow responses of Twitch support staff created a headache and lost revue for well-known streamer and ex-pro player, Z1ronic. The story starts with a Twitch user repeatedly sending Z1ronic donations with vulgar messages for a couple of months. Z1ronic got fed up and called him out, making fun of the troll for using his real name. The next day, Z1ronic is hit with a thirty day ban for breaching the user’s privacy, since Z1ronic showed the harasser’s email on the stream.
Since streaming is one of Z1ronic’s main sources of income, he immediately tried to address this. He reached out to his Twitch rep and wrote two essays on the situation. There wasn’t any response from Twitch.
Around the same time A1ronic was talking to Ubisoft and ESL about appearing on USN finals and joining the analysis desk. But this event would be streamed on Twitch, and if a streamer is banned, then they are not allowed to show up on anyone else’s stream. ESL and Ubisoft gave him a deadline to tell them if he is able to make it.
Twitch finally got back to Z1ronic and told him that his ban had been reduced to fourteen days, which would mean the ban would be over prior to the event. However, that message was sent five hours after Ubisoft’s deadline.
Even though he was now cleared, Z1ronic could not participate.
Another Twitch streamer, Alinity, has received a lot of user complaints, but in this case, Twitch has not done anything about it.
In one incident, Alinity tried to falsely report a Pewdiepie video for copyright infringement. (In the video, Pewdiepie criticized female streamers for what he saw as just using their body for views. He called them “twitch thots.”) Alinity’s act of protest was seen by some users as an abuse of the copyright reporting system. Twitch however, took no action.
Then again, four months ago, while Alinity was playing the battle royale, Apex Legends, her cat walked onto her keyboard mid-game. Alinity picked up her cat and chucked it over her head.
The internet was angry, telling Twitch to just ban her already, but again Twitch didn’t do anything.
More clips come out showing Alinity’s questionable behaviour towards her pets. One clip shows her doing a “vodka kiss” with one of her cats — taking a shot of vodka and then immediately kissing the cat, which is toxic for them. Others are more cringe-worthy than depicting harm.
To this day, Twitch has not banned her or given any sort of punishment, despite the clamour from users.
There wasn’t an apology for Z1ronic, just the two messages about his ban and the reduction.
Twitch has engaged in other actions that users find questionable, like using the inactive channel of former top Twitch-streamer Ninja — now a Mixer streamer — to promote other Fortnite streamers.
Twitch is still at the top of the list of streaming platforms, but without making an effort to meet their users’ expectations of fair behaviour, they might find that they lose users to one of the many smaller platforms chomping at their heels.
Image Credit: Siege.GG