Tech

“A Day Without Twitch”: Why Are Streamers Going On Strike?

Internet users who use Twitch to stream games of video games go on strike on September 1. Goal ? Support victims who experience hate on the site and ask Twitch to go the extra mile. The initiative, called #ADayOffTwitch, invites streamers to turn off their webcams for a day.

You intended to follow the adventures of your favorite videographers on Twitch, but it turns out that they are all offline this Wednesday, September 1, when their schedule announced the opposite? Maybe it’s because they’ve all joined the #ADayOffTwitch movement, which is taking place today. The initiative, born in the United States, but which is also spreading in France, invites streamers to turn off their webcam for a day.

A strike to push Twitch to react

Purpose of this Twitch strike? Raise public awareness of the hateful abuses that are developing on the platform specializing in the broadcasting of live video games. The service, a subsidiary of Amazon since 2014 for a little less than a billion dollars, is faced, like other social networks, with cases of harassment, but also of disclosure of personal data (“doxing”).

Another goal pursued by this special day of mobilization: to confront Twitch with its responsibilities, by asking it to design more advanced tools to moderate what is said for example in the chat, but also to block and report the most worrying viewers. Several proposals are also made and a meeting with representatives of the platform is called for.

One of the visuals produced in support of #ADayOffTwitch, with a recap of the various requests made to Twitch.

Among the avenues mentioned are the setting of a minimum age to access the chat, the need to use a strong authentication method for each account, the refusal to join more than three accounts to an email which has been verified. These different avenues aim to complicate the possibility of doing anything with Twitch, by adding essential prerequisites before using an account.

Another request is the possibility for moderators to accept or refuse incoming “raids” on a stream. This feature, which initially aims to land en masse and in a friendly manner on another stream, is partly diverted from its primary purpose. In theory, these raids allow for example, when a streamer is about to cut his broadcast, to send his community to someone else.

Videographers are mobilizing in France

In our latitudes, Xavier Dang, alias mistermv, decided to contribute and give it visibility. The person, who is followed by nearly 700,000 people on Twitch, informs his community on Twitter that ” the initiative consists in not using the site, but especially in advancing the ban / moderation tools to prevent [les raids haineux concernant les créatrices et créateurs marginalisés] ! “.

Yves Rougy, alias Yorzian, is also mobilized : ” Today no Twitch for me. In support of streamers victims of harassment, doxing. To ask Twitch to take better account of the problem. It’s as much for spectators as streamers », Writes the one who has 2,600 fans on the platform. ” To do nothing would be like watching someone get assaulted without saying anything.

As the journalist Lucie Ronfaut explains in her weekly newsletter for Numerama, # Règle30, the streaming platform pronounced regularly in favor of more diversity among its creators. But at the same time, it is plagued by violent raids, groups of Internet users who gang up to harass streamers live, usually because of their gender or skin color.

Yges Rougy abounds: ” Many small streamers from various minority communities have been the target of raids the sole purpose of which was harassment, demeaning and doxing. He cites in his tweet women, but also queer and LGBT videographers among the regular victims of this kind of virtual assault, but also those of different ethnicities being insulted because of their skin color. People with a sexual orientation other than heterosexuality are also targeted.

The fact is that the initiative, launched relatively late, is not unanimously followed. On this date of September 1, we can easily see that videographers, French or foreign, are active on Twitch. This is not necessarily a disinterest in the goals pursued by #ADayOffTwitch. These Internet users may not be aware of its existence or it could jeopardize their activity.

An initiative based on volunteering

This is what mistermv suggests, in an additional message. ” Don’t blame those who had schedules to stick to “. Some videographers try to make a living from this activity, by professionalizing themselves, and it is very difficult to break into it, especially if we do not stream often and that we do not respect the announced program. In the case of mistermv, its activity will resume on September 2.

In a publication on TwitLonger, the American videographer RekItRaven, who is behind #ADayOffTwitch, also recognizes the short notice between communication on this strike and D-Day and the difficulty that this causes to organize. ” To be perfectly honest, it was rushed. […] It wasn’t perfectly planned and I know I had a lot to do with it.

Don’t blame those who had schedules to stick to

The fact remains that, taking into account the fact ” that hate raids quickly turned into large-scale doxing incidents », Writes the streamer, the stakes which carry this movement remain considerable and require a fast reaction. The person concerned invites in passing not to attack those who do not subscribe to this action, so as not to reproduce what is rightly criticized.

No one should threaten to ban, hit or fire anyone who does not participate in #ADayOffTwitch. It is not a compulsory movement, but a movement based on solidarity. There are many personal or professional reasons why you cannot participate. It’s not for us to decide someone else’s reasoning She writes.

It should be remembered that in France, doxing, which consists in disclosing personal data with the aim of harming an individual, is punishable by law. This is also the case for so-called Internet threats, as well as harassment, whether by an isolated or mass person, whether the action is concerted or not. It would be wrong to believe that one can be anonymous on the net and fall under the radar of justice.

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