Web Culture

Twitch Streamers Boycott Platform in Protest against Hate and Harassment

Image courtesy Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

A number of channels on Twitch have today gone dark as streamers participate in a protest against vices that have plagued the platform for weeks now. Dubbed #ADayOffTwitch, creators across the world have chosen not to stream to bring attention to the hate and harassment against streamers.

The walkout protest was created by international streamers ShineyPen, Lucia Everblack and RekitRaven in a bid to create greater awareness of these problems. And in the last few weeks, hate raids and abuse directed towards individuals who depend on the platform for a living has risen at an enormous rate. Among the streamers taking part in the protest is Kenyan gamer Sylvia ‘QueenArrow’ Gathoni.

The ongoing protest is a product of the #TwitchDoBetter, a hashtag created by streamers affected by hate raids across Twitch in the last few weeks. A number of creators have had to face having their chats spammed with hundreds if not thousands of sexist, transphobic and generally abusive messages. No matter how strong one is, there is no denying that this would overwhelm anyone on a platform that you rely on as your everyday office.

Twitch is now being urged by creators across the world to implement better measures designed to protect the very same people who make the platform as big as it is. The Amazon-owned streaming platform has responded promising that fixes are forthcoming. But in the meantime, streamers are left to contend against the hate raids.

Of course, not every creator is able to take part in the protest. This is mostly because it would not be feasible for some smaller-scale streamers who depend on streaming as their only means of income. This is alongside contractual obligations that some of the creators are under from ad deals and partnerships preventing them from even skipping a day.

All in all, it is up to the platform to make sure its very own stakeholders feel safe doing their jobs.

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