About a week ago, the professional video game streamer Natalia Mogollon – better known for her handle Alinity Divine – ignited a blaze that burned the most recent conversations around Twitch. During one of her live streams, Mogollon became irritated by one of her two cats and then seemed to throw it over her shoulders and on the floor behind her chair. The clamp Immediately went viral, and people on the internet have called for Mogollon to be permanently banned from Twitch for claims of animal abuse on her stream. (Twitch has previously banned a streamer, Kneecoleslaw, before abuse her cat on power; they banished her shortly thereafter.) It has turned into a targeted campaign of harassment, largely by men, against one of the most popular female streamers, and it puts Twitch in a tricky position – among a need to defend Mogollon against sexist harassment , and a need to properly moderate its platform.
Twitch has had a constant problem with inconsistent moderation. In June Dr. Disrespect – real name Herschel "Guy" Beahm – his first IRL stream live from a bathroom on E3, the largest gaming conference in the US, and was immediately stripped of both his conference badge and his Twitch channel (temporarily). After his return two weeks later, my colleague Julia Alexander spoke with some streamers and pointed out that the short duration of his ban was a blow to the wrist, something that could encourage other bad actors. According to Social Blade, a social media company, Beahm did not get as many followers as usual during his ban, but the upward trajectory has since resumed.
Beahm was recently asked by a follower about the situation with Mogollon. "If a level of inconsistency comes out of the platform and favoritism that affects me personally, that's a problem," he said, according to Dexerto. "Honestly, I don't even care."
What is ironic is that he should; perhaps, Beahm's short suspension from Twitch only happened because he was big enough that the platform could not permanently ban him without losing him to a competitor such as YouTube, even if he explicitly Guide for the community. Big names mean a lot of money for Twitch, because they purchase a portion of every ad viewed and subscription purchased. Bigger names mean that more money is at stake.
Mogollon, on the other hand, presents a slightly different problem – a problem that crosses moderation with the latent sexism of the gaming community. This controversy is largely blown up by an earlier spit between Mogollon and PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg), aside from Mogollon's treatment of her cat.
Their fight took place after Kjellberg posted a video in which he tested an eye-tracker – a piece of hardware that tracks your eye movements and visualizes them on screen – by watching vague provocative videos on YouTube sent to him by his followers and resist the urge to look at everything exciting. One of those videos, titled & # 39; SEXIEST TWITCH GIRL STREAMERS APRIL 2017 !!! # 2 "with Mogollon. "This is so annoying," Kjellberg said. “Stupid Twitch Tots! I just feel like they're conquering me, okay? And they won't win me. Stupid Twitch tots. No. I'm engaged. I don't need this. In response, Mogollon filed a copyright claim against Kjellberg.
That feud burned bright and clear – because copyright attacks are a serious matter for YouTubers; with three your channel can be permanently banned, no matter how big you are. Kjellberg Mogollon accused of violating Twitch's terms of service many times before, which implies that she has received preferential treatment because she is a woman. Those attacks have resurfaced. As BuzzFeed News wrote yesterday: “While some popular female users have spoken on Twitch against Alinity, many of the efforts were first led by male gamers who believe she gets special favors because of her sex. spell.
Twitch declined to comment on the situation with Mogollon. Mogollon had not responded to a request for comment at the time of the press.
There is no real answer here. The game culture has always been hostile to women, although it has been intensified during Gamergate and has since spread to other areas of the internet. The Alinity and Dr Disrespect problem is two-fold and goes deeper than Twitch, because it is really a matter of responsibility; platforms have a duty to protect people like Mogollon from sexist harassment, and they must also figure out what to do when one of their stars intentionally breaks their terms of service, as Beahm did on E3. Twitch has no answer yet. But again, nobody does that.