Twitch in Hot Water Following Exodus and Controversy

Published: Sep 6, 2021

In recent weeks, industry-leading streaming platform Twitch has found itself in hot water once again. Following a shaky year for the platform, the landscape has taken yet another hit, driven by a slew of bad press, malicious activity, and creator abandonment. It’s a new low for the Amazon-powered platform, which for years has been the mode of choice for gamers and creators looking to stream their gameplay.

Last week, we reported on DrLupo’s departure from Twitch and his subsequent transition over to YouTube. This was a shocking switch, as DrLupo effectively built his empire on Twitch, only to recently pick up an exclusivity deal with YouTube. When it came time to leave Twitch on the 31st of August, DrLupo was (essentially) bidding farewell to 4.5 million followers.

But it hasn’t ended there.

And So Begins The Exodus

Around a year ago, DrDisrespect was permanently banned from Twitch for reasons that have never been fully revealed. However, in a recent YouTube broadcast, the remarkably popular creator stressed that he and his team were seeking legal action against the platform. In something of a rant, DrDisrespect explained:

“There’s a reason why, and I’ll just say this right now, champs – there’s a reason why we’re suing the f**k out of them, okay?”

Following his ban, DrDisrespect moved over to YouTube, and the transition has – so far – paid off in dividends. And, in an even more shocking twist, TimTheTatman also left Twitch, just days ago, to pick up a streaming pursuit on YouTube. It was one of the biggest transitions on record, given that TimTheTatman boasts an incredible 7 million followers on Twitch. He’s also ranked as one of the highest-paid Twitch streamers in history.

Although, it appears a huge majority of those followers went with him on this fork in the road:

Is Twitch An Unsafe Platform?

Recently, there has been a broad and public outcry against Twitch and its lack of safety for marginalised creators. In the last week, an abhorrent and baseless trend has exploded onto the scene, whereupon LGBTQ+ and POC creators are experiencing hate raids. Traditionally, a raid is a feature offered by Twitch that allows one creator to pull their viewers into another creator’s stream when they’re about to go offline.

However, as the trend goes, these raids are now being used to target these creators specifically, entering their stream and bombarding them with hate. There are also numerous bot raids taking place, with some victims being followed en-masse by thousands of fake accounts. It can destroy a creator’s credibility and ultimately lead to their account being banned for fake engagement.

In response to this and the lack of action on Twitch’s behalf, thousands of creators staged a digital walkout this week. Both small streamers and prominent creators adopted the #ADayOffTwitch approach, abandoning the platform for a full day to drive down Twitch’s numbers:

At present, all Twitch has to offer is the advice to ‘include mods in your chat’.

If these issues are not addressed, it seems highly likely that more creators will be leaving Twitch in favour of YouTube.

Grant Taylor-Hill
Grant Taylor-Hill

Since: February 12, 2021

Grant is a lifelong, multi-platform gamer with a passion for journalism and more than ten years' experience in the industry. He'll try any game once, and when he's not playing them, he's watching them, being as he is an avid esports fan.

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