With one poor decision after another, Twitch seems to have found its tipping point in pushing its streamers and viewers too far, with #TWITCHISOVERPARTY trending strong on Twitter. The final straw has come after Tyler “Ninja” Bevins, one of the most popular online streamers in the world, had his former channel on Twitch hijacked to promote pornographic material.
For a while, one may have looked at Twitch and thought that they had a Public Relations (PR) problem, but the reality of the situation is they have problems deeply ingrained into the culture of the organization that PR cannot spin past a certain point.
Ninja Leaves Twitch And Joins Mixer
Less than two weeks ago, Ninja made the formal announcement that he would be streaming exclusively on Mixer on Mixer, which is a rival platform to Twitch. This ended his run on Twitch that began back in 2011.
While the news has surprised many, it seems like a brilliant business decision when considering what Mixer could offer Ninja on their platform, which itself was launched in 2015.
The move should have been a simple business matter for all parties, however management at Twitch decided not to handle Ninja’s departure in the same way as handles the departure of other streamers. For a reason they have not explained, Twitch continued to use Ninja’s channel for their own internal promotion, and this is where the pornographic content was shown after being hijacked.
While Ninja himself no longer has any control over the promotions shown by Twitch, he still took to Twitter to apologize for the inappropriate content, which is worse when one considers that a large part of his fanbase is young boys and girls.
Twitch Is Behaving Badly
Twich CEO Emmett Shear has attempted to control he damage done and looked to apologize to Ninja and stop all promotion on his page. However, it seemed to have little effect and the #TWITCHISOVERPARTY has since taken hold as a trending topic of discussion.
This kind of mass celebration of the idea of an organization’s failure is not something that occurs without a reason, and for the unfamiliar, Twitch has given its viewers plenty of reasons to not support its platform.
In the past few months, Twitch has made several controversial decisions, or has been judged for its indecision, with regards to how it disciplines streamers. Natalia “Alinity Divine” Mogollon was shown throwing her cat and giving it vodka while broadcasting, leading to calls for her to be suspended for animal abuse. Yesterday she again became the focus of conversation after using a racial slur on her stream to zero consequence.
Others meanwhile such as popular fitness streamer Heathered Effect have been censored for behaviors that are not listed as inappropriate in the Twitch Terms of Service, as seen when she was breastfeeding her newborn while conversing with a friend. Eventually the censorship was removed, but it highlights a bigger problem at Twitch.
Twitch: *Gets Cancelled*
— Kai BuscusHD (@kai_buscus) August 12, 2019
Twitch Moderation Is Inconsistent
The trending hashtag points to the systemic issues at Twitch, which we at TheGamer have pointed to for quite some time.
Inconsistencies in disciplinary actions lead viewers and streamers alike to be unsure about the rules on the platform, and lead many to believe that some receive special treatment. At this point the running joke is that Alinity could stream herself committing a felony and still not receive any form of discipline, while others are routinely suspended and permanently banned for seemingly less serious behaviors.
The misuse of Ninja’s channel is not that big of a deal on its own. Instead, it was simply one more inconsistent decision made by Twitch, tossed onto the pile of other inconsistent decisions, that started an avalanche of criticism on Twitter.
This is not the end of Twitch as we know it, but as we have said many times, if consistency is not applied to how streamers are treated and disciplined, and if the organization remains unprofessional to its former streamers, no one will be surprised to see the platform disappear in favor of new ones like Mixer.