Twitch streamers and content creators will take a one-day strike from the streaming service in response to the persistent hate raids targeting marginalised streamers.
Earlier this month, racist bots were used to harass, undermine and even dox streamers of colour. These hate raids have sadly always been present on the platform yet the introduction of tags for POC, LGBTQ+, and other identities for streamers to use has allowed the raids to increase in frequency and intensity. Twitch addressed the events and explained that although there is not a "simple fix" for what is going on, it "is not the community we want on Twitch, and we want you to know we are working hard to make Twitch a safer place for creators."
However, streamers don't believe that enough has been done to protect them from the vitriol. "This statement is literally meaningless without actual evidence of what you're doing to help," said emily_shadows, a streamer who had seen the instigator of a hate raid against her save the moment it happened as a clip on the website. "All my passion for streaming on Twitch has evaporated. I don't feel safe, I don't feel like my community would be safe," admitted Twitch partner breadwitchery.
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! ☠:knife: (@RekItRaven) August 20, 2021
As such, Twitch streamer RekItRaven, who started the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag as a way of drawing attention to the raids, has now announced #ADayOffTwitch which asks streamers and audiences to avoid using Twitch on September 1st.
"We are continuing the fight," they said on Twitter. While the reception to the idea has been positive, some have wondered about the viability of a strike given the enormity of Twitch and preventing people from making money through the streaming service. "We are asking for one day of solidarity for people who are losing far more than a day's worth of subs/bits/donos. What we can't afford is to sit by idly and allow that to continue," said fellow streamer LuciaEverblack.
Asmongold, a streamer popular for his World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV Online content, has shared his thoughts on the blackout and that it requires someone with a lot of followers on the platform to participate. "You can't get a bunch of 20 [small streamers] together and think you're going to do anything. Nobody gives a f**k," he said on stream on Sunday. While he appreciates the message that these streamers are communicating, he will not join unless someone else with a similar following does first, because he's been criticised for taking part in protests about Twitch in the past.
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