Could a Day Off Twitch Lead to a Positive Change?
Twitch’s “raid” feature has been weaponized against streamers of marginalized groups. Now that tags exist for racial groups and those of the LGBT community, trolls have decided to use the system as a sort of “hit list” – grouping up on a stream and using the “raid” to bear down upon a single creator, all at once.
What was once used as a tool for community-building and networking has been weaponized against the people it was meant to support.
Compounding that issue is the ease trolls have with making new accounts. Toxic users can be banned, but when those bans are so easily circumvented, it’s easy for a streamer to feel like they’re in a hopeless situation.
And when people get into that headspace, they start to take matters into their own hands.
We are continuing the fight.
Shout out to @LuciaEverblack and @ShineyPen for helping me with this!#ADayOffTwitch
September 1st, don’t go live. pic.twitter.com/dU1ycC9YtM
— ʀᴇᴋ ɪᴛ, ʀᴀᴠᴇɴ! ☠? (@RekItRaven) August 20, 2021
The plan is simple: on September 1st, don’t stream, and don’t watch streams. Impact Twitch’s bottom line, and they’ll come to the discussion table. They’ll be made viscerally aware of what minority groups have to struggle through on their platform, and they’ll make Twitch a safer place for everyone.
Twitch has responded to controversy before – the face of Twitch’s most recognizable emote said some comments that people didn’t take so favorably, and as a result, the emote was removed from the site. The very existence of these tags for marginalized groups is proof that Twitch cares about this community, so the goal of the boycott seems achievable.
But with that said, many are skeptical of the boycott’s effectiveness. To be successful, a site-wide day without streams can’t have too many people offering lost viewers a home – otherwise, those who only half-care about the topic can go about their day as if nothing happened.
But that, obviously, is just speculation. It’s very possible that enough streamers could go offline for the boycott to show up in twitch’s bottom line. The date for the boycott isn’t too far away, so mark your calendars. No matter what happens on September 1st, it’ll be worth your attention.