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Black streamers and Color of Change demand #TwitchDoBetter

"Twitch has shown repeatedly that it is not willing to be transparent."

Black streamers on Twitch have joined forces with Color Of Change on a campaign demanding #TwitchDoBetter.

Last year marginalised creators on the platform were rocked by a surge of malicious hate raids and the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter was used to criticise Twitch's response. This was followed by the #ADayOffTwitch campaign.

However, this new campaign is asking for a resurgence in support.

In an open letter to Twitch CEO Emmett Shear and senior staff, Black streamers state not enough has been done to support marginalised creators.

While Twitch did respond to the influx of hate raids, the letter notes that Twitch only updated its safety protocols following the high profile campaigns by Black streamers. And since then, not enough has been done.

"While Twitch claims to be 'listening to creators and building solutions to help stop unwanted harassment,' it still has not offered a timeline for when these demands will be met, if at all," reads the letter. "Twitch has shown repeatedly that it is not willing to be transparent and cares more deeply about its public image than the safety of Black streamers."

The letter also criticises the recent support for Black History Month as "short-term, performative Black History Month initiatives" which were "sorely inadequate".

"Twitch must address its complicity in anti-Black racism on the platform. And that starts with working directly with impacted Black creators to determine which policy and procedural changes are needed to improve their safety, as well as being transparent about when these changes will be implemented."

As such, Black streamers and Color Of Change have three major demands that #TwitchDoBetter:

  • Easily accessible and well-communicated incident feedback loops - which would allow Black creators who've been harassed or hate-raided to obtain more immediate support.
  • Improved moderation practices and support - which would equip Black creators and their teams with the tools needed to end hate raids and protect themselves from discriminatory language, especially during featured events.
  • Commitment to conduct a racial equity audit - which would allow Twitch to eliminate any manifestation of bias, discrimination, or hate in its policies and procedures.

The campaign has been launched alongside a video featuring the experiences of four Black streamers: iamBrandon, A_TypicalQueer, RealMamaEagle, and ItsLadyKit.

"I've always wanted the best for Twitch and that's why I've put a lot of my heart and soul into it," says iamBrandon. "Because it has changed my life for the better but it hasn't done enough to protect me and people like me."

The streamers in the video describe the influx of hate raids and the impact on their mental health.

"For most of us, and for me, Twitch is our escape," says RealMamaEagle. "So when my community and me are subjected to these hateful words, it's almost like people saying that we're not welcome here, we don't deserve to be here, we don't deserve to have our own space?

"I want the platform to protect its Black creators. That's just my ultimate endgame with everything that I'm doing."

"I've always said that Twitch has one of the best platforms to showcase diversity, and they don't do anything with it," says iamBrandon. "We don't see a lot of different faces on the platform. There's a lot of white streamers who are featured on there."

For more information and to add your voice, visit the Color Of Change website.

Eurogamer has contacted Twitch for comment.

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About the Author
Ed Nightingale avatar

Ed Nightingale

Deputy News Editor

Ed has an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.