Twitter Blows Up Over #TwitchDoBetter Controversy


An african guy wearing headphones and glasses leads an online stream during the computer games championship

Photo: Getty Images

One of the world's largest streaming platforms was trending on Twitter earlier this week for its alleged lack of protections for marginalized creators.

Twitch streamers have been voicing their anger and frustration on social media, particularly content creators of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and women. They claim that the Amazon-owned streaming service isn't doing enough to protect streamers from targeted harassment.

One example of this is "hate raids," where bots are automated to spam offensive language, slurs, and messages in a streamer's chat. Smaller streamers are usually the targets of said raids since they do not have many moderators.

The criticism started when streamer RekItRaven quote-tweeted another creator, Soloaimbot.

WARNING: The content below contains offensive language. Viewer discretion advised.

Soloaimbot shared a screenshot of multiple messages saying, "Why black monkeys can’t speak English 200 yearzzz jorj floid" while he was live.

"And it's happened again. This is absolutely enough," Raven wrote. "If you're taking 1/2 of our income then why are marginalized people still subject to lackluster safety protocols?"

Since then, dozens to hundreds of streamers have come forward to share their experiences. Omega Jones, who goes by CriticalBard on Twitch, posted a video response that has over 13,000 likes and over 200,000 views as of Wednesday (August 11).

"Twitch, do f***ing better. End of story," Jones begins his video. "When marginalized creators on this platform, specifically people of color, tell you that Twitch needs to do better? Just listen. People like to act like hate raids and follow bots that say some horrible a** s*** don't exist."

That's when Jones showed bots suddenly spamming the n-word in his chat while he was playing a game. He said it happened 20 minutes before he started recording the video.

"I honestly don't need to continue. Twitch, do f***king better," he says to end the video.

Twitch responded to the controversy Wednesday (August 11), announcing that they will be improving chat filters to combat hateful messages. However, the platform also said the feature will be launching later this year with no clear rollout date.

"We're launching channel-level ban evasion detection and account verification improvements later this year. We’re working hard to launch these tools as soon as possible, and we hope they will have a big impact," according to Twitch's Twitter post.

Until the feature is implemented, some streamers have shared tips on how to stave off the harassment until Twitch implements new features.

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