Sexual assault online is being curtailed with various policies across platforms. With the growth of Esports streaming, the issue of sexual assault has become a worrying trend, and Twitch, one of the top streaming platforms for esports, looks at ensuring that it is controlled to the barest minimum.
When Samantha Wong told Twitch that another person connected to the Twitch community had sexually assaulted her, the story went upwards. Justin Wong, a Twitch vice president, says he has stepped up her accusations to Twitch’s chief executive officer, Twitch HR boss, and a VP who handled the Twitch relationship with the accused. According to his Twitter post, all the officials he approached promised him that it was going to be handled.
Yet Twitch continued to feature the accused one year later. The person who was mentioned as being behind the sexual assault was not only allowed to attend Twitch events but was also given a chance, according to Samantha Wong, who was identified as Sampai, to appear on segments of Twitch’s official channel. Samantha accused Twitch of reducing her sexual harassment and sweeping it under the carpet in a twitter post.
“You, as a company, minimized and dismissed my sexual harassment,” she wrote on Twitter.
According to The Verge, Wong is one of the hundreds of people who have been complaining in the gaming industry over the last few days of harassment, bullying, and assault. The reports cover the industry, but there is a wide group: Twitch streamers. These streamers, often women, talk of violent behavior among others in the Twitch streaming community, mostly men. More than 60 individuals suspected of wrongdoing are listed in a median post cataloging the recent accounts, sometimes with allegations from several people.
Their accounts led to a growing demand that Twitch moderate, secure, and set the tone for their group better. The company said that it was going to investigate and discipline the suspected consumers, and it had begun to issue permanent bans by Wednesday night. However, streamers doubt that Twitch can take them seriously.
The men accused of abuse and assault differ between streamers with thousands and hundreds of thousands or more. Several reports include events on Twitch, such as people who reportedly broadcast messages for pornographic images of minors. Some haven’t happened directly on Twitch, but include people in their community. Many people claimed they encountered a Twitch abuser, or the harassment happened on a Twitch event or a Twitch conference after-party.
Some of the accused are also Twitch Partners verified. Streamers who excel in themselves and have streamed Twitch at the appropriate time will be eligible for Partner status, which offers a range of benefits, and a purple check-mark which shows streamers can be checked to support events like TwitchCon. Twitch notes that it reviews applications manually, and not all applicants are accepted, even though a user meets all eligibility requirements.
What is Twitch doing about it?
In an attempt to address problems in digital security and music licensing, Twitch is focusing on some highly qualified executives.
The platform today has posted two different openings for employees with ten years of experience in performing the roles of “principal music partnership and licensing manager” and “head of trust and safety.”
During the past month, both subjects were widely debated. With the increasingly high profile of many individuals in the gaming industry on reports of sexual assault covering almost every major sport and gaming scene, Twitch ‘s association with the industry and streamers accused of abuse have led to public scrutiny.
In its “trust and safety” role, Twitch is searching for a person who has ten years of experience in “content moderation operations and policy development for online communities.” The duty of the exec will be to assist in the creation of the platform ‘s safety and community standards, as well as to establish means of harassment detection and rule enforcement.
Whether this executive will be able to ensure that the worries of the abused will be looked at and dealt with drastically when appointed, is yet to be seen.
When it comes to sexual assault, even in the “real world,” women seem to have to live with it since they encounter it daily. However, this does not mean that it should continue. If Twitch is serious about its community guidelines and ensuring that its users are safe, this will be an area of great concern to them.