A hashtag has been making the social media rounds as Twitch streamers are trying to call awareness to several problems they have with the streaming platform. The #TwitchDoBetter hashtag — a reference to a 2018 tweet from Twitch that asked users to “watch [the company] closely and hold [it] accountable” as it planned to implement new enforcement policies — is being used to demand that Twitch adjust its revenue sharing scheme and (more crucially) provide better moderation to prevent marginalized and minority broadcasters from being targets of abuse and hate.
Despite Twitch’s 2018 community guidelines update, which was intended to block sexual content as well as harassment and hateful conduct, streamers are pointing to continued abuse suffered by streamers of color and streamers in the LGBT+ community, who are still the targets of orchestrated “hate raids,” follow botting, and harassment campaigns. Further, the current moderation tools on the platform don’t prevent such practices, since offenders can easily sign up for a new Twitch account.
The hashtag is also calling attention to the current 50/50 revenue split that streamers and Twitch have, with many calling for a 70/30 split (70% to casters and 30% to Twitch) or even an 80/20 split. Twitch, readers will recall, was purchased by Amazon in 2014 for just under $1B, and Amazon is already making money hand over fist, having earned over $100B in the second quarter — the third quarter in a row the company has had such earnings.
Of course, Twitch (and by extension Amazon) taking half of streamers’ earnings holds hands with the platform not using any of that revenue to implement new tools to fight against hate. “Many marginalized creators find it better to turn off the currently available Twitch tools and just have their own community moderate their spaces,” said streamer Jess Go. “If we are doing all this additional work, why is Twitch taking such a large portion of the profit we generate?”
We’ve seen a lot of conversation about botting, hate raids, and other forms of harassment targeting marginalized creators. You’re asking us to do better, and we know we need to do more to address these issues. That includes an open and ongoing dialogue about creator safety.
— Twitch (@Twitch) August 11, 2021