“A Day Without Twitch”: Has the streamers strike had a big impact?

The day after the strike on Twitch. What was the impact of mobilizing streamers? Some statistics already allow us to measure the effect of the #ADayOffTwitch movement.

It is undoubtedly still a little too early to measure all the consequences of the day of strike which took place on September 1, 2021 on Twitch. Some of its effects will perhaps only be felt in a few days or weeks, or even months, time to meet the demands of the protesters, who are asking the platform for more means to protect itself from external aggressions.

Recall of facts. In August, an initiative emerged in the United States to educate the public, frequenting the service specializing in broadcasting live video games, on the phenomenon of “hate raids”. For one day, everyone streaming content was invited to turn off their webcam to mark the occasion and, at the same time, push Twitch to respond.

A few hours after the #ADayOffTwitch operation, the platform did not speak publicly on this subject – the press releases page does not mention it, nor does Twitter account, which posted other content during September 1. Still, according to audience tracking site Twitch Tracker, which is unrelated to Twitch or its parent company Amazon, the action was noticed.

A moderate drop, but noticed on Twitch

Several graphs provided by the service show a drop in activity on Twitch on September 1. The number of live broadcasts fell from the same period a week earlier. The gap varies depending on the time of day, but the difference is a few tens of thousands of channels, unlike on other days, where we do not perceive a lag.

Live streams for the last 7 days
Every day was the same from week to week. All except one: for September 1 there was a noticeable drop. // Source: Twitch Tracker

As for the spectators, the same observation: the audience curve between the last week and that of today almost merge, except for September 1st. While the threshold for simultaneous views almost always exceeds the threshold of 4 million, at least for the last two weeks, the day of September 1 has just crossed that of 3.5 million.

Concurrent viewers for the last 7 days
Fewer Internet users were watching Twitch on September 1, the day of the #ADayOffTwitch action. // Source: Twitch Tracker

The mobilization of the heavyweights of Twitch has certainly had an impact: in France, Xavier Dang, alias mistermv, did not offer direct on September 1 to his 700,000 fans. Ditto abroad for HasanAbi, which is followed by 1.5 million individuals, or Kaceytron, which has more than 556,000 subscribers. They had all announced their rallying to the movement on Twitter.

A clarification must be made on the functioning of the platform: on Twitch, it is quite possible to follow several channels at the same time. In other words, the same person can count in the fans of Kaceytron and HasanAbi, for example. In addition, the fact that Kaceytron does not stream, for example, does not prevent his community from going elsewhere, while waiting.

Obviously, given the trajectory of the curve of September 1 compared to that of last week, there was no mechanical and systematic switch of the spectators of these streamers participating in the strike on other channels that were not participating. . There certainly have been, but the number is unquantifiable. Twitch no doubt has metrics on this, but they’re not public.

Of course, there are also videographers in the group who did not want to stream on Twitch on September 1, without it having to do with the day of protest. The same goes for Internet users, who perhaps wanted to occupy their day differently, without joining the movement – it was put in place relatively late, moreover, so that it could have been missed.

A first action, before others?

For the American videographer RekItRaven, who is behind #ADayOffTwitch and had recognized the short notice given to videographers to organize themselves, all this is not so bad, including for the statistics. Even if we can note the fact that Twitch remained very busy on the day of the strike, with tens of thousands of active channels and millions of Internet users, the interested party said she appreciated this parenthesis.

Today it’s the #ADayOffTwitch and honestly it’s a cathartic feeling. I’m going to spend this time with my family, play and hang out with my friends and just take a fucking breath of fresh air. This is not the end. But damn, I’m gonna make the most of this day “, she wrote on Twitter, suggesting that in the future other actions will be launched, similar or not to this one.

If the impact of the movement has been very measured on the day-to-day activities of Twitch, and the differences observed can be the subject of discussion (did Internet users really follow in solidarity or because they had nothing to do with ? How many redeployed on other channels? How many channels were really involved in the movement?), Peripheral effects emerge.

Week over week statistics
Correlation is not causation, but what else could be the explanation for such a drop for the last week, apart from #ADayOffTwitch? // Source: Twitch Tracker

Thus, the NGO Access Now said ” work on a support guide for Twitch streamers facing hate raids, which will include victim stories, tools that might be helpful, and other resources “. The countryside Color of Change also provided its support, by inviting those concerned to report to it to document cases of racism, sexism or harassment.

The #ADayOffTwitch initiative asks Twitch to take additional steps to counter targeted attacks against videographers, which are triggered on the basis of their sex, sexual orientation, gender, skin color. More and more serious abuses have been reported, with actions of harassment, insults in the chat or even disclosures of personal data.

Among the requests that are being formulated to improve the situation include the ability to approve or deny incoming raids (a function that has been hijacked to harm videographers), the request to demand better control over the age of people wanting to chat in chat or double authentication and limitation of the number of accounts by verified email.

Twitch says they are aware of the problem and are taking action, not always visible, to counter these waves of hate. // Source: Twitch

Twitch had already expressed himself on this subject in August and says he is aware of the problem – and ensures that he does not want his platform to be a place where these attacks occur. The Amazon subsidiary ensures that the reports made by Internet users, moderators or creators help it to refine its moderation tools and advises to continue to report these slippages.

Hate spam attacks are the result of highly motivated malicious actors, and there is no easy fix “, Nevertheless admitted the service, while defending its action and the fact that everything is not made public:” We are implementing a channel-level ban circumvention detection system and improving accounts to combat this malicious behavior. However, as we work on solutions, the bad actors are working in parallel to find ways around them. “.

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