Twitch is replacing PogChamp with a new community face every day for the remainder of the year, and while the platform’s intentions were good, the actual rollout was chaotic. Some streamers highlighted under the new initiative have seen increased harassment during their PogChamp tenure, and many fans would like the live streaming service to be more proactive in its efforts to support these streamers.
PogChamp is one of the most popular emotes on the platform, but Twitch removed the original, which was the face of Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, from its service after Gutierrez used social media to “further” after the last attack on Capitol Hill Violence “week. Twitch also banned Donald Trump’s Twitch page to prevent Twitch from being used to incite further violence.
“We want the feel and use of Pog to live on – its meaning is far greater than the person or image it depicts – and it has a huge place in Twitch culture,” Twitch tweeted on Jan. 6. t in good conscience still allow the use of the image. “
Twitch quoted streamers and alumni Stars ship 2 Expert Sean Plott for the new idea after suggesting creating a database of different PogChamp faces from different streamers. Kenny “unroolie” McWild was the first new face from PogChamp, followed by streamers and dancers UmiNoKaiju, Pokémon streamers reversal
Although some have voiced concerns about the idea – especially when it comes to locking the popularity and language of emotes to real people – It has also been positively received for raising marginalized creators on Twitch. The hope was that by having more streamers, Twitch could help create a more inclusive community. In fact, the PogChamp emote experiment has shown a huge number of streamers over the past few days. However, members of the Twitch community criticize the company for not doing enough to protect these streamers from the harassment that comes with added visibility.
Each of the streamers featured so far saw greater reach after posting their faces on Twitch’s 7.8 million Twitter followers. This has a few advantages: Twitch brings new voices to the fore of its service. But there is one downside and that is the toxicity that the Twitch community can sometimes bring with it.
Reversal, the face of PogChamp on Jan. 10, said he received minor trolling for being PogChamp’s face – but not enough that it detracted from the experience for him. The harassment was markedly different on Jan. 11 when Jones took on the role.
Although Jones said he received a lot of support from viewers and fans, he also received “a lot of hurtful messages and death threats” on his social media accounts, including during the stream on Monday. “I’ve prepared my Twitch and Discord moderators for what is likely to happen, considering I’m a black man who will be the face of a global emote that Twitch has loved for so long,” Jones told Polygon about Twitter DM.
The harassment stems from a comment Jones made on the stream when explaining “the difference between the white matter statement and black lives matter,” he said. In particular, people clung to Jones and said that “white lives don’t matter,” far from what he actually said: that white people can be proud of their heritage – like being Scottish or Irish – but proud to know is to be Not
“Black people have to say Black Lives Matter because we were stolen from a country. […] without our heritage and our identity, ”he said on the stream. “We only know our blackness. There is a difference. “
Social media critics invoked “reverse racism” over Jones’ comments. although that’s something that doesn’t exist in the United States, given the broader performance dynamics in the game.
Twitch emailed Polygon that it was in “close contact” with streamers featured in the PogChamp experiment.
“Highlighting a new PogChamp every day was an idea that came straight from our community and was developed in the spirit of celebrating the diversity of creators on Twitch,” the spokesman said in a statement. “Although we received an overwhelmingly positive response from both the community and the highlighted ones, we are also in close contact with the new faces of PogChamp to offer support when needed. We will not tolerate harassment from Twitch and will take action against behavior on our service that violates our rules. “
But Jones said Twitch isn’t doing enough. “I just want them to realize that they are able to suppress a lot of it,” he told Polygon. “The total ban on people fueling these flames makes it harder for people to create random accounts just to harass them. Nothing to say is the silence on which racists and bigots live. Speaking clearly and opposing racism and hatred is much more than they seem to realize. Don’t wait for a black person or marginalized people to send you a message – we shouldn’t have to educate you about how to achieve better security. “
Community members agree, including content creator and activist, Natasha “Zombaekillz” Zinda, who led the previous charges against Twitch of Black Twitch streamers. “The battle cry for mods every time one of us gets an opportunity,” she tweeted Tuesday. “The feeling of fear whenever we are successful. The deletion of our posts. That’s why I speak out loud. “
People show solidarity with Jones, especially after the visible increase in harassment on social media. The general gist of fans is that Twitch’s idea is a good one, but it does take work to execute to protect streamers, especially given the platform’s track record with viewers using emotes to express racism.
“Once again, Twitch doesn’t seem to understand how their community is divided, and various viewers have now tried to harass one of the new streamers they chose to emote.” Twitch Streamer JG, also known as UTxJGTheDonsaid Polygon via email.
Similarly, following Twitch’s implementation of Deere as the new PogChamp, the streamer received a mix of support and harassment, the latter including transphobia.
“This ALWAYS happens when Twitch is trying to promote inclusion in any way,” said UTxJGTheDon. “There needs to be a bigger conversation between the people visiting the platform and the senior people running the platform. Things like that won’t stop until Twitch downright condemns all types of hostile / toxic behavior. ”