2020 is a notable year for Twitch’s large-scale streaming ban, but 2021 is different. In many ways, the past 12 months have become darker and more difficult: we have seen marginalized anchors fighting against abusive audiences beyond Twitch’s control, rather than laughing at self-incriminated Call of Duty cheaters or wondering Why is PhD being banned for disrespect, and copyright conflicts and mismanagement are still everyone’s thorns.
A large-scale security breach in October exposed the entire platform and dragged the platform into the mainstream spotlight: a digital security expert said the situation was “as bad as possible”. However, the crisis was over quickly, at least publicly, and by mid-December, the biggest debate was whether streaming was eligible for work. As they said, life continues.
Here is our summary of the biggest Twitch controversy of 2021:
In January 2021, Twitch decided to delete the old PogChamp emoji, because fighting game character Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez (face on emoji) expressed support for the US Congressional riots on January 6. Soon after that, it decided to restore emoji, and every 24 hours a new streaming character played the role of PogChamp.
Sadly, this was not entirely smooth, because some daily PogChamps were subjected to racism, homophobia and other forms of abuse when it was announced that it was their turn. Twitch stated that the program received an “overwhelmingly positive response” from the community and selected anchors, but it also defaulted to problems, adding that it “is maintaining close contact with the new faces of PogChamp and providing support as needed.”
The idea of rotating the community between PogChamp is an amazing idea, and when I was asked, I immediately jumped up because I knew what it might mean. I look forward to racism. I didn’t expect the chaos that would follow. Just know that your day will be difficult. But you are PogChamp for a reason. ❤️January 12, 2021
A month later, Twitch returned to the permanent PogChamp: A Komodo dragon.
On January 7, the day after Capitol Hill thugs failed to prevent Joe Biden’s inauguration, Twitch suspended the account of then President Donald Trump to “protect our community and prevent Twitch from being used to incite further violence. “. The banning of the social media account of an incumbent US president is a remarkable move, although not unprecedented: Trump’s account was suspended for two weeks in 2020 for violating Twitch’s prohibition on hateful behavior and harassment.
Twitch stated that Trump’s account status will be reassessed on January 20 after he resigns, but when the time is right, it decided to implement the ban indefinitely. “The president’s statement continues to be interpreted as a call for action, and we are taking this action to eliminate the possibility of harm to our community and the public,” Twitch said at the time. The account remains disabled.
The elderly metalsmith Metallica performed during the 2021 Online Blizzard Carnival in February, which is undoubtedly a bright spot for fans watching on YouTube, Twitch or Blizzard’s own website. However, on Twitch Gaming, things got a little weird: when the band started playing For Whom the Bell Tolls, the music was suddenly replaced by the ridiculous “plinky-plonk twinkling”.
Confused audiences soon thought that the song was replaced with royalty-free music because of the long history of disputes between Twitch and the music industry and the DMCA removal. The whole thing is more stupid than controversy, but it draws attention to the really strange relationship between Twitch and music publishers, and the challenges that streamers have to deal with when dealing with it.
In May, the major streamer Amouranth reported that Twitch had suspended her ability to place ads on the channel. It turned out that her “hot tub streaming” was the problem: Although she did not violate any specific Twitch regulations, she was told that some content, even if approved by Twitch, is not suitable for all advertisers.
However, the real problem is not the specific content, but that Amouranth’s advertisement was suspended without notice: not only did she not have the opportunity to solve the problem in advance, she was not even informed that the source of income was changing and was completely closed. Improper temperance is another example of Twitch’s notorious lack of transparency, even in some cases by its top streamers. However, Twitch did quickly come up with a practical and very reasonable solution to the problem of suggestive streaming: after Amouranth reported that her ads were suspended for a few days, Twitch added a new category called Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches. .
One month after the entire hot tub incident, Twitch reduced the craze of ASMR’s hot new trend: wearing yoga pants to simulate ear licking. Amouranth became the focus again, and Twitch again failed to accurately explain the problem. But it is widely regarded as another example of Twitch’s arbitrary, even capricious temperance, not based on rules but based on someone’s perception of inappropriate content, especially because Twitch said after the hot tub controversy that “being found to be sexy The actions of others do not violate our rules, and Twitch will not take enforcement action against women or anyone we serve because they are attractive.”
And, just like that controversy, this seems to be over quickly, and the continuing consequences are minimal: Twitch’s ASMR category is still full of ribbons wearing a variety of different costumes and licking ears.
At first glance, this seems interesting: a world-famous stone man accidentally silenced himself for a whole week without noticing. However, it turns out that Twitch is responsible for the mute, because it is understandable that Snoop likes to listen to music while playing, and playing copyrighted music is against the rules. Just like the Metallica incident on Blizzard Carnival, this is a ridiculous example that shows that live broadcast platforms such as Twitch cannot find a reasonable solution for the music business.
One of Twitch’s biggest challenges in 2021 is “hate raids”-organized attacks on marginalized anchors-in which bot accounts are flooded with slanderous and threatening chat channels. After struggling for months, the anchor organized a virtual protest, and they all agreed not to broadcast live within 24 hours.
#ADayOffTwitch happened in September and it greatly reduced Twitch’s ratings. Twitch acknowledged the issue before protesting, and after publishing new account verification options and automatic bans from evading detectors to help alleviate it. The company also filed a lawsuit against two hate attackers based in Europe.
A year later, as a result of thousands of DMCA removal requests issued by streaming copyrighted music, Twitch took a big step forward, through the September agreement with the National Music Publishers Association to establish services and music A fruitful partnership between publishers.” Good news!
The bad news is that the only benefit of streaming is a slightly more forgiving violation system: now, “unintentional or accidental” use of copyrighted music in a stream will cause a warning in the first place, rather than immediately drop the hammer. In a statement, Twitch reminded its anchors that the use of copyrighted music in streaming under any circumstances “infringes the rights of music creators and runs counter to Twitch’s mission of supporting all creators.”
This is the biggest. In October, Twitch encountered a large-scale security breach, and everything from source code to streaming media revenue was exposed. ThreatModeler CEO Archie Agarwal said that this is “as bad as possible,” although it turns out that user passwords and other personal details were not exposed, so maybe the situation is not as bad as expected.
Nevertheless, it is still huge: top streaming media revenue is disclosed, in fact, only a handful of streaming media are close to the “big era”. Big shots have also benefited from a secret “no ban” list, which has angered some people, although in reality it seems to be more of a necessary moderation tool than an unfair advantage to anyone. We also learned about the completely unexpected existence of an unreleased Steam competitor called Vapor and a long-term money laundering plan that has attracted the attention of the Turkish government.
Surprisingly, the whole thing seemed to come to an end relatively quickly. Twitch engineers may not think so, but we changed the password, a few streamers had a great time, and then life continued.
Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek said in December that he really likes streaming because “work is terrible”, which caused a sensation. If his point was not clear enough, he later clarified, “Streaming is work? No, it’s not fucking work, it’s a damn joke. Look, I sit here and do nothing.”
Of course, Shroud is one of the biggest anchors in the industry, so his dismissive remarks caused quite a stir. The anchors really work hard, and the vast majority of them work for personal enjoyment: only a few are close to the top of the pile. In context, his statement almost certainly refers to his own personal position: his working hours were relatively early in his career as a professional e-sports player; now that he has become famous and established his audience, he can Glide easily-this is a very lucky and extremely rare position.
Just a few weeks before the end of the year, the popular anchor Hasan “HasanAbi” Piker was suspended by Twitch for saying “cracker” in the live broadcast. Naturally, the debate about whether “biscuits” is really a racist slander started soon. Some people even call it “C”. By pointing out this indirectly, they inadvertently emphasized the inherent absurdity of the whole thing. Like actual racial slander, we can actually use the word “cookie” without worrying about being expelled or beaten from a public place.
HasanAbi’s suspension eventually lasted for a week. On the sixth day, he expressed his desire to start again, and a very subtle lack of regret.
Popsicle! See you at Pacific LETSGOOOOOO tomorrow at 11 am https://t.co/1T9rV5m8dQ pic.twitter.com/CwzNXphWStDecember 21, 2021