So, today I found out that Amouranth apparently doesn’t receive any ad revenue anymore because Twitch deemed her as “not advertiser-friendly”. On Twitter, Amouranth was being shamed, attacked and vilified by people who all missed the point of her tweets. I wanted to share my stance on a bunch of issues with the whole situation, even if I personally don’t watch Amouranth’s streams.
For starters, where exactly is the issue here? Well, the main issue, in this case, is that Twitch doesn’t communicate at all. Twitch decided to indefinitely suspend advertising on Amouranth’s channel (according to a thread on Twitter) but didn’t give any reasoning or notice of it, which somewhat reminds me of the actions that YouTube pulled a while ago where they deemed channels “not advertiser-friendly” and revoked the right to advertising/ad revenue on those channels, wholly or partially. This is a big issue. People have been complaining about Twitch’s ToS before but in contrast to the Terms of Service, there aren’t really any official guidelines about what exactly is advertiser-friendly. “Very vague guidelines” are better than “no guidelines”, essentially. What bothers me personally is that Amouranth’s content often may be viewed as “sexualised” but Twitch doesn’t seem to mind at all… but wouldn’t mature content actually be a good place for those condom ads that have been put onto family-friendly streams? Just think about it: You run a PG13+ channel and Twitch puts condom ads onto your channel. Big issue. Meanwhile, there are channels that people call “sexual” but Twitch revokes the ad revenue completely. It doesn’t really make sense. YouTube, quite a while ago, had the issue that they wouldn’t communicate at all about why the content wasn’t advertiser-friendly and they’d just revoke the rights to monetization from all kinds of channels, which people were upset about, naturally. Meanwhile, YouTube also had Anti-LGBTQIA+ ads playing on LGBTQIA+ content/channels, which is yet another big issue. I remember Twitch having had a similar issue in the past. I don’t know why you’d utilize tags on your platform for everything but not for ads.
Big companies seem to try to get away with things when they proactively deal with certain issues. If they don’t get away with it (like in the case of Twitch’s mid-roll ads), they backpaddle from it. Removing one streamer’s ads on Twitch is so peculiar. It’s not like they created an example out of her or anything. People will not stop “sexual content” because of this. Amouranth will not either. It’s really just a dick-move towards her and I don’t get the intention. I could see that advertisers approached Twitch in regards to their ads being played on Amouranth’s stream but why wouldn’t Twitch, in that case, play other ads on the stream… and well, Twitch doesn’t seem to come out with a statement over this. The most plausible explanation would be that this is a reactive reaction by Twitch after getting approached by one or multiple sponsors/companies that play ads on Twitch and that didn’t want to get associated with Amouranth… but Twitch would have probably handled it differently by getting in touch with Amouranth (who’s a partner after all). Instead, Twitch did none of that and just revoked the ad revenue, which is weird. So, I think that this is a proactive move by them to enforce guidelines that do not exist… Again, weird. No communication. No transparency.
Personally, I feel like Twitch could handle situations like this a lot better: If Twitch as a company doesn’t want sexual content on their platform, they should outright ban it via the Terms of Service. Since they don’t do that and since bikinis and swimwear are allowed on Twitch as long as it’s appropriate for the context that it’s worn in (aka the hot tub, swim pool or whatever), all of these streamers including Amouranth are in a grey zone if not even in the green zone. Twitch’s Terms of Service prohibit a lot of things like pole dancing or shots for bits. Twitch could add hot tub streams to that list if they didn’t want it on the platform.
The whole action just feels weird and not good. If pulling ad revenue is Twitch’s new thing, then Amouranth won’t be the only person that they’d do it to. There are a lot of people on Twitch that are problematic like MontanaBlack88, for example, who said that “women are like dogs”. Other people are known for having said several slurs in the past or for other forms of bigotry. Twitch could pull the ad revenue from these streams and still earn money through subscriptions and bits. People right now are attacking Amouranth for being at fault here when she’s the victim. I’m not sure if people will like this procedure as much once it hits their favourite streamers.
Overall, it’s a rather weird situation. Pair that with other questionable decisions like Twitch implementing a “chant” feature that got 23 votes on Twitch’s Uservoice while completely ignoring the Trans Tag Request that now has nearly 10,000 upvotes. Twitch is not communicating at all and blatantly ignoring the trans tag issue while implementing useless features or revoking ad revenue for singular streamers they don’t like…? It seems very wonky and like decisions that aren’t thought through, at least in the case around ads since family-friendly streams still are getting condom ads on their channels. When it comes to the Trans Tag, Twitch is still hiding under the excuse of “wanting to protect the trans people on the platform” but they do that by ignoring their requests of having their own tag. They want to protect Trans people from transphobes and bullies and trolls… but instead of punishing them for being marginalised, they should rather punish the ones that do something wrong: The transphobes/bigots/trolls, etc.
They said that they wanted to enforce their guidelines for hate speech, harassment and verbal abuse but they still do not give us an option to flag/report users after they did something against ToS. They don’t give Trans people more discoverability because it could piss of transphobes (aka paying customers). They can’t ban all the sexists and transphobes on Twitch since they pay for subs, etc. – So they ignore the issue with those… or the fact that people can still put slurs into their usernames… or other issues.
Twitch makes a choice when it comes to issues: They stay quiet about it until everyone forgets after two weeks. This sadly works more or less for them. The Amouranth case is weird because Twitch didn’t give a statement yet. The Trans Tag gets ignored. People can get away with harassing streamers. Users can literally put the n-word into their name because Twitch doesn’t care. But if a streamer shows a nipple, they’ll get banned for sure.
Twitch is weird… or rather, their lack of communication is causing more issues than it’s solving.
And well, then there’s also the victim shaming going on in the replies to Amouranth’s thread with people attacking her for apparently “doing soft-porn on a platform for children” or for sex-work, etc. In regards to that argument that keeps showing up, I’d personally like to say that Twitch’s user base is on average 21 years old. 55% of Twitch’s userbase is 18 to 34 years old with the rest being between 13 and 17 years old as well as older than 34. About 76% of the userbase are between 18 and 34+. It’s not a platform for kids. There are family-friendly streams on Twitch, yes, but it’s not like Twitch itself is targeting kids specifically. Twitch’s Terms of Service state that you need to be at least 13 years old and that you need your parents’ consent to be able to be on Twitch. You accept them by creating an account. If a kid watches a mature channel, then that’s the parents’ fault. It’s not the streamer’s fault that kids have internet access. It’s not like Twitch streamers are showing genitals or actual sexual activities either. People that bring up the children on Twitch seem to forget that children shouldn’t be on the internet without parental guidance. The other argument that people bring up is that Twitch is for gaming (which frankly isn’t true since Just Chatting is the fastest-growing category atm)… and that can be easily disputed by it being wrong. If people really don’t want to see streamers like Amouranth, then they can come to my stream where I stream without a cam and with my own sexy voice. If you’re into that and Indie Games check me out. Wink wink nudge nudge.
Either way, don’t attack people. Be nice. Hydrate properly. I’d like to sum up that Twitch may be weird at times but I don’t hate the platform. You can like something and still criticise it. Meanwhile, you can also dislike someone’s content but defend them, like in this post.