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If you've been on Twitch recently, you might have heard of what's called the hot tub meta. The hot tub meta is referring to people on Twitch, mostly women, who are appearing in hot tubs on stream which can predictably gain them large audiences. Though Twitch hasn't made a move to get rid of these streams, indicating they're within the rules and regulations of the site, some streamers aren't happy they're sharing the platform with this content - such as xQc.
Last week one of Twitch's biggest streamers, Félix 'xQc' Lengyel took to Twitter to say, "I'm gonna be honest, this hot tub meta is by far the most pathetic thing we've seen on Twitch in forever. What a sad reality. Please get this trash off the front page." And many agree. You might not have heard of most streamers, but you'll surely know Snoop Dogg. This is the time he forgot he was live on Twitch:
Though xQc is known for trolling and being over the top with phrasing or sentiment when he isn't actually too fussed about situations - even if he's being dramatic, there are those who absolutely believe the hot tub meta is ruining Twitch.
A report from Kotaku has brought attention to the thoughts of some of the people taking advantage of the so-called meta, with hot tub streams, including the toxic behaviour exhibited towards them by men. Kaitlyn Siragusa, better known online as Amouranth, has gained a huge burst in followers since using hot tubs in her streams - gaining almost another half a million followers since the end of March.
She says that there are two main complaints that people come up with when men talk about what she does, "People extrapolate their own agenda onto the meta. There are two re-occurring themes that people go back to 1) Twitch is for gaming or 2) Twitch is unfair towards male streamers-alternatively, Twitch is more lenient on female streamers". The latter is something people believe because women in hot tubs are 'getting away with it' while men walking that line (maybe not in nudity but in other ways) would be *more* likely to get banned. There isn't any solid evidence to support this whatsoever, it's just a common thought some people have.
Amouranth, however, thinks that this inequality in perceived treatment stems from Twitch's less-than-transparent banning policies. Sometimes the company doesn't comment on bans at all, leaving streamers confused. "I think a lot of the perceived asymmetry is caused by Twitch not publicizing the reason they are taking enforcement action against a streamer. Social media loves opining about topics when there is imperfect information."
But again, according to Amouranth's conversation with Kotaku, the data shows that people are staying for other content like "gaming and other activities." She goes on to say "I can play games or just talk to my chat sitting at my desk to 10,000 concurrent [viewers] nowadays. I imagine internally Twitch is seeing a huge surge/influx of people coming from off-platform, people who likely become recurring users. It's hard to buy marketing like that. The meta is generating a lot of mindshare, and it piques people's curiosity. I think the narrative that it 'takes viewers away from other creators' is false".
The last point about 'taking viewers away from other creators' is another common theme that upset individuals weaponise against the female streamers. However, they don't seem to consider that those that want to watch a huge hot tub stream are ever going to be interested in the content that others produce - if you're interested in talking to a girl in a bikini, it's not like they would otherwise be watching a teenager playing Valorant to a small group, right?
Other than xQc, other streamers have, of course, commented on the hot tub meta, mostly in a joking fashion. Some streamers like JadeyAnh would place an image of a hot tub on stream to joke about it being part of the meta, and others engaged in the same meme. Though it does look like the raging success of the hot tub streams is waning just a touch, they will probably be present on Twitch for a long time to come. You can read the full report and perspectives from other streamers on Kotaku or you can watch a streamer finally 100% an 'impossible' guitar solo after 10 years of trying.
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