Before I begin here I think it’s important for me to introduce myself. My name is Stacey and I have been a streamer on your platform for over 3 years. Though I haven’t been regular as of late I think it is important for me to give some background. I was in an abusive relationship for nearly 2 years. The 2nd half in which no one knew because I hid it from friends and family. Though it may or may not relate to the sexual assault allegations that are coming forward in full force this weekend I think you need to honestly, step up your game and seriously take a look at who you have representing your company as a brand.
This past weekend there has been more stories of sexual abuse, rape, manipulation, sexual assault etc. then anyone would have imagined or thought about. The people coming forward first and foremost are impressively brave, and courageous for telling their stories. To re-live the experience in telling it again for people to know must be stressful, and scary. I know this when talking about my abusive past. Any allegations should be taken seriously ALWAYS not to mention investigated. I think it can be pretty obvious who understands and doesn’t what the word NO means. In case you are looking for some showcases for Twitch Con Panels (Which I assume you are doing virtually due to the Con itself being cancelled) How about making a panel on Sexual Assault Survivors and educating the masses about why No means NO! And what exactly is consensual sex.
Also for anyone who has read this far, and still doesn’t believe Survivors who have shared their story. Kindly, Fuck off. The reason why the world does not accept stories of abuse/rape in many forms is because of the rare cases when victims have been proven to be lying. That being said, There are FAR MORE PEOPLE who are telling the truth that they should never be automatically dismissed. Until they are proven wrong any sexual assault case should be considered true. It is people who bash others, and call survivors liars that are hurting the progress that has been made.
As a leading platform in the streaming world, Why are we waiting and hoping things change for such a long period of time after we cry out to you as a company? Be better. Stop waiting for the community to have an uproar before you put out your blanketed statement. You posted this on twitter: (link is here: https://twitter.com/Twitch/status/1274900083369115649?s=20 )
” We take accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct extremely seriously. We are actively looking into the accounts concerning streamers affiliated with Twitch and will work with law enforcement where applicable.
We’re thankful for the bravery shown by those who have come forward to speak about their experiences, and we are committed to working to make the streaming community safer for everyone.”
This is EXTREMELY similar to your last post regarding the ToS (Terms of Service) and how you would “Make things more clear” for everyone. An example would be how you updated your Body Painting rules, Where somehow magically, The new ToS has shown MORE people banned for following this than before it was revised. How can you say you are here to make a safer community when your safety council was only there to protect yourself and not the community as a whole. Some of these circumstances have happened at YOUR own Twitch Con’s. How is this Okay?
While it may be difficult for you to come up with different ways to penalize or discipline your partners or even affiliates who have been proven guilty of sexual assault, harassment or misconduct I have come up with the liberty of providing some examples for this.
Penalties can include:
– Removal of Partner. While this is something that may come as a shock. People can have the check mark removed. Remember how quickly you removed a particular person’s check mark who changed platforms nearly immediately after they announced this? Why is it so difficult to remove a check mark for someone who has sexually assaulted another person? Or even someone who is known to be raciest or homophobic either? Start making an example out of people who should not be representing your company. Not in the contract? It SHOULD be in there. Not to mention maybe revising your partners contracts or even affiliates so that if these cases are in fact proven correct they can IMMEDIATELY have their status revoked.
– Platform Ban may seem extreme but so is the acts that some if not all of these streamers have committed. Removal of partnership or whatever will not penalize them if they have a huge community. Remove them from the platform if not forever, 5 years in the MINIMUM. Don’t let them be here with people who are trying to make a career out of this and actually treating people with respect and dignity.
– Swifter action has been mentioned in multiple instances. Provide a ticket/ number system where people can track the progress of their concerns. Stop letting the people who report these beyond serious concerns, left in the dark waiting and hoping that their voice is heard. After all, the current system is basically a shot in the dark hoping that the report even went through let alone that people are even reading them.
– Direct team for these issues like these. Heck, I don’t have a job but I would be glad to take this on. I live in Canada and am on the East Coast so doing virtual meetings and representing the community would be awesome for me. Make a team NOT like the safety council but a team to Represent the Streamers of Twitch, Not the higher-ups. Streamers need protecting as well and their voice needs to be heard too.
– I think this goes without being said, But protection of Survivors should also be a priority. Yes, Chances are if someone is sharing their story and this is brought up to a streamer/partner/affiliate they will know what situation this is concerning but the survivors need protection as well too.
These are just some of the examples that I have thought of this morning and I’m sure there is a lot more that can be provided simply by asking the community. And unlike previous times, how about ACTUALLY caring and taking in consideration the community and their concerns and suggestions instead of saying “We heard you,” With barely a response.
After looking at MULTIPLE tweets this weekend. And even checking out a list made with these tweets, know that so far I have counted AT LEAST 60 different people sharing their stories against streamers/partners some the same person and others aren’t. I think even ONE is more than enough to cause a MAJOR concern with the platform and the safety of the content creators let alone 60 people who have shared and how many countless others who are not ready to share either.
Let’s look at your own Twitch Con for example. Last year there were photos circulating where there were drinks ALREADY poured sitting open on a table for ANYONE to grab at their leisure. Is this safe? HELL NO! When you go to a bar, You ask for a drink, it is made in front of you, and you are given it. Why are you skipping this entirely and just putting them on a table for people to help themselves? Backpacks. Eliminate them or make them clear. I live in Canada, and when I used to go to the bars in Halifax they checked EVERYTHING. If you were a guy you would be pat down and females would have their purses checked. Put in measures for safe practices instead of creating these circumstances where something so serious can happen so easily and THEN making a change. Be proactive in this. Have different booths encouraging and educating people what No means and how to help friends in situations like this also. Obviously there is a lot of people who really do not understand this concept.
Before ending this, I want to leave you with this scenario.
At Twitch headquarters, You have offices, different type of people. Imagine that someone in the office, whether entry level, a major position holder, investor, or management was sexually assaulting other employees, your fellow co-workers. How quickly would this person be fired from their job?
I would say almost immediately following an investigation if not immediately when they came up.
That being said, Why are these people allowed to have YOUR platform? And before I hear “Oh well they make the platform money”
Honestly. Respectfully, FUCK THE MONEY! You are pushing away talented content creators by NOT doing something. Whether a person makes under 100$ per month, or a person is pulling in thousands. Remove them from their position. There are people who would GLADLY replace your top earners who do not have a tarnished personality. Let alone HORRIBLE morals.
Stacey aka StaySeeJ08
Open letter to Twitch: Sexual Assaults