Update July 29: It looks like the petition is going to cross over the 35,000 line sometime today.
Twitch streamer Alinity Divine is no stranger when it comes to scandal and controversy, and currently, there is an online petition gaining steam for her to be banned from the platform for animal abuse against her cat. Recently, she received a temporary three-day ban in late May for accidentally showing pornographic content on her stream, though it was in many ways not her fault, and the decision by Twitch, in that case, is debatable as to whether it was a deserved ban or not.
Now, however, there is no doubt that the mistreatment of an animal has taken place, all of which occurred during a broadcast. She was seen throwing her cat during a game of Apex Legends, and in another instance giving the cat vodka. The SPCA has even gone as far as to file a “formal cruelty complaint” with Twitch for the actions.
Since we have seen nothing from Twitch on the matter, the petition was formed to get the ball rolling towards a permanent ban. Other popular streamers like Pokimane have watched and responded to the behavior themselves, indicating that such behavior is not up to par with Twitch standards and generally terrible for being cruel to animals.
Since the outcry over the incident began, Alinity has apologized, but is that sufficient? Today, it seems that every content creator does something ridiculous, apologizes, and expects zero repercussions for the underlying behavior.
The underlying issue here is Twitch’s lack of action or commentary on the matter. Doing nothing in the face of blatant animal abuse is the same as condoning it. By not handing down any form of disciplinary action, the message to Alinity and other streamers on the platform is that there are no reprisals for animal abuse, and this is completely unacceptable.
If Dr DisRespect can receive a suspension for filming in the men’s bathroom at a crowded event, because there was the potential for inappropriate content to be shown, surely outright animal abuse broadcast on stream merits no less of a response.
Is Twitch so worried about maintaining viewership that it is willing to apply the rules only in some situations, but not others? Enforcement of rules must be consistent if the Twitch moderation team is to be taken seriously, and either everyone must be held accountable, or no one.
Consider for a moment Kneecoleslaw, who did something similar and received a harsh ban as a result.
Kneecoleslaw was permabanned for a year for animal abuse, they won’t even give Alinity a slap on the wrist? She just gets to yet again benefit off of her behavior. No repercussions, just encouragement to continue.— kaceytron (@kaceytron) July 20, 2019
Some say this may be a double standard between men and women streamers. However, it is more likely inconsistency depending on the moderator for each particular case. In any event, the longer Twitch sits on this issue, or if it fails to act at all, the worse it will be for their image.