Ari Notis from Kotaku on today’s Twitch boycott:
Earlier this month, streamers rallied around the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag on social media, where reports of awful user experiences on the platform proliferated. Many of the posts revolved around how Twitch has offered tepid protections against sustained harassment. In particular, hate raids – in which bad-faith viewers use the platform’s “raid” feature to flood a channel en masse with slurs and vile language – are not only possible, but becoming a daily nightmare for folks using the livestreaming service. And since it’s nearly effortless to create an account on Twitch, trolls are able to sign up for a bunch of accounts. It’s absurdly easy to circumvent any bans, at least until measures like account verification via phone numbers are implemented.
I’ve done some streaming on Twitch before, and was lucky enough to have decent experiences with it. I was “raided” once, but it was a good one, not the hate raids that seem like the thing for racists and trolls to do these days. But while my the streams I hosted went okay (I never had enough viewers to attract a lot of negative attention), I’ve seen just how toxic the platform can be while watching other Black streamers. I hope Twitch ends up doing something meaningful here.
The #ADayOffTwitch campaign – organized by Raven alongside streamers LuciaEverblack and ShineyPen – is scheduled for September 1. Essentially, it’ll be a 24-hour-long total blackout: no streaming, no watching streams, no logging on to chat. Viewers are encouraged to participate, as well.