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Twitch, we need to talk

An open letter to Twitch, the live streaming platform that has done so much, yet still does so little if you’re a minority

I’m opening this with a sincere doubt that this will go anywhere. However, I’ve already decided that my most potent tool is my pen. Or, in this case, my keyboard, I’m part of a minority group. A group that gets a lot of trolling for just using the tag to represent that minority. Yes, I could refuse to use the label, but why should I?

I’m not promoting Subtember this year. There’s a variety of reasons why not, including why are you trying to get us to convert more people to subscribers rather than allowing us to be grateful to our existing subscribers. But more importantly, I don’t feel like Twitch has shown any meaningful moves to improve simple things.

What am I talking about?

Well, right now, I’m questioning when the next hate troll is going to come in. I have a multiple mod team that even I admit has more mods than I need, but they’re there because the sheer nature of being LGBTQIA and open about it means I’m more likely to get some smart mouth coming in and spouting crap. Which in itself isn’t too hard, and I can agree Twitch has some very robust tools to handle that. Ban, ignore, automod for the worst words.

No, my problem is with the names. Twitch, it should not be possible for a name like str8s_kill_f**, or f**_shd_die, or better f**_kill_urself. I think you see where I’m going with this. This and the fact I see body painters getting banned because of troll reports when they are following the TOS that you set out. A lack of transparency in general on your way of running and deciding these bans.

Heck, even the fact that people can still get automatically banned for just getting a certain number of reports — yes, sometimes this is the appropriate choice. However, in the case of a category like bodypainting, or other niche categories, maybe more human interaction with the ban tools is needed.

So what am I saying in summary?

Twitch — do better. I know you can, and it’s what we’re all calling out for.

Writing about: LGBTQIA+ Issues || Mental Health || Short Stories. Demi-male, trans-masculine — They/Them pronouns. Can be found at —

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