With multiple tweets claiming that Twitch has been given information on how some of their big-name partners are using that platform to abuse women, and chosen not to act on it, streamers and fans called on Twitch and its CEO Emmett Shear to step up.
I’m sick of being quiet. The CEO of @Twitch, @eshear, was asked in an All Hands meeting about partners using their platforms to abuse women- specifically using my case as an example. He chuckled, said “wow, the things that go on on our platform, can’t really comment,” & moved on.
— ✨ Starling ✨ (@YourStarling) June 22, 2020
Shear has now shared an internal Twitch email sent on the subject, while Twitch has put out an official statement, but some don’t think the statement is enough.
There’s been a lot of important conversation happening over the previous couple days, and I’ve heard your voices. I’d like to share the email I just sent internally to the company on the topic. pic.twitter.com/B1V34lT9EI
— Emmett Shear (@eshear) June 23, 2020
Now, people are calling for a Twitch blackout to take place on Wednesday 24, asking streamers to stay off Twitch for 24 hours.
WE ARE CALLING FOR A #TWITCHBLACKOUT
In effort to get @twitch @eshear to take note of:
– sexual harassment, assault and rape
We are asking streamers of all sizes to WITHHOLD FROM STREAMS ON WED 6/24 12am – 11:59pm
MAKE THEM NOTICE
— 🔴LIVE🔴Third Artifact #BIM (@third_artifact) June 22, 2020
Others are going further by pledging to cancel their ongoing Twitch subs and donate to streamers directly, without giving Twitch money through subscriptions or bits.
This entire month.
I will be cancelling all of my subs and not giving any bits on Twitch.
I will be donating to all of my streamer friends DIRECTLY.
Want a true #twitchblackout? That’s gonna be it.
Stop giving them money until things ACTUALLY change.
— Y O S H 🧢 #BlackLivesMatter (@ItsYoshh) June 22, 2020
While the movement is centered around allegations that Twitch partners and affiliates have used their position to abuse women, those involved are also concerned about the amount of racism, homophobia, and transphobia that often goes unchecked by big-name streamers.
In the past, Twitch has banned the accounts of streamers whose abuse has been investigated and charged by authorities, such as Thomas Cheung, who was arrested after an undercover sting in Atlanta to catch child predators. However these punishments haven’t always been strict across the board.
In December 2018, Australian streamer MrDeadMoth was arrested and charged with assault after appearing to attack his partner during a live Twitch stream. Despite the arrest, however, MrDeadMoth was initially only given a 14 day suspension from Twitch–which was later lengthened in response to community outcry.
Even as parts of the community call for a blackout, Twitch is no-doubt preparing for an influx of new streamers after Microsoft announced the end of Mixer. Twitch has extended the olive branch to streamers left without a platform, with a tweet addressing the Mixer community.