This past weekend, numerous women have come forth with the names of Twitch streamers who they say have been perpetrators of sexual abuse. Streamers like SayNoToRage, ProSyndicate and HenryG have all been amongst those names; according to Dexerto, widely watched Destiny streamer, SayNoToRage, was “accused by multiple women of making unwarranted sexual advances…[and had] on multiple occasions, ‘cornered’ women and pressured them ‘for sex’ at annual gaming events.” Though this accusation surfaced on June 20th, it prompted other women to come forward with their own sexual abuse experiences under the Twitch platform this past weekend.
On Wednesday, Twitter users participated in #TwitchBlackout which called for streamers to protest against the companies initial inaction.
As allegations began to mount, Twitch addressed the allegations via Twitter
These allegations arrive after Twitch’s Safety Advisory Council was put into effect
About a month ago, Twitch launched its Safety Advisory Council, an eight-member council designed to strengthen security and enforce basic policies within the platform–sexual harassment being one of them. The council is made up of cyberbullying experts, Twitch Partners and web researchers.
But according to music streamer, YoungStarling, Twitch’s CEO is a big part of the problem. In her post on Twitter, YoungStarling shared a revealing story; last year at an all-hands meeting, when Twitch’s CEO was asked about how Twitch could protect women from the abuse that goes on within this platform, he responded with a jarring indifference: “The things that go on on our platform, [I] can’t really comment.”
It’s been days, what has Twitch done?
After promising to investigate these allegations, Twitch took it a step further and shared their plan of action in a blog post yesterday.
“We are reviewing each case that has come to light as quickly as possible, while ensuring appropriate due diligence as we assess these serious allegations. We’ve prioritized the most severe cases and will begin issuing permanent suspensions in line with our findings immediately. In many of the cases, the alleged incident took place off Twitch, and we need more information to make a determination. In some cases we will need to report the case to the proper authorities who are better placed to conduct a more thorough investigation.”
Twitch has banned a handful of their most popular streamers; and thanks to a site called streamerbans.com you can find a list of those banned from Twitch. This list is continuously being updated.
Streamer Jessy Quil also shared a list, which is being continuously updated, via Twitter of the many accusations that have rolled out against streamers; providing a Google Spreadsheet that includes the accusations and any responses the accused may have posted.
While the streaming community acknowledges that this is a step in the right direction for the streaming platform, there’s still a lot to do.