What you need to know
- Twitch published a blog post following sexual misconduct allegations towards dozens of prominent streamers.
- The post said that it would issue "permanent suspensions" and contact the proper authorities in each case.
- The repsonse comes after a Twitch Blackout Wednesday.
After a series of accusations of sexual abuse and harassment against prominent streamers over the weekend, Twitch responded Wednesday night that it's looking into the allegations.
In a blog post, a company spokesperson wrote that the company is "reviewing each case" and will either dish out the proper punishments, which includes permanent suspensions, or will report them to the proper authorities.
"We are reviewing each case that has come to light as quickly as possible, while ensuring appropriate due diligence as we assess these serious allegations," the post said. "We've prioritized the most severe cases and will begin issuing permanent suspensions in line with our findings immediately."
Dozens of people, most of them women, came forward with stories of sexual misconduct concerning big names on the platform over the weekend. This includes Omeed Dariani, the CEO of Online Performers Group (OPG), which handles business for a number of streamers. Other high-profile streamers accused include Tom "Syndicate" Cassell, Lono "SayNoToRage," Mike "SattelizerGames," and many more.
All of the named people here have responded the allegations. Cassell called them "false" in a statement on Twitter while Lono published an apology video saying that he was "inappropriate" with people and that he was "deeply sorry."
Dariani, meanwhile, has stepped down from OPG and said on Twitter that he doesn't "remember" the incident brought forth by Overwatch community development lead Molly Ayala in a Twitter post but that he believes her.
"The fact that I don't remember and she has had to live with this is just more evidence of the privilege I've enjoyed as a successful man in this space. It's not an excuse," he wrote.
In response to the accusations, many of OPG's clients have left the company, including Cassell. The CTO, only known as Cole R. online, also resigned.
After many of the allegations, many streamers called for a Twitch Blackout for Wednesday, with many choosing not to stream. SirKatelyn, a Twitch streamer, was one of the first to call for the blackout as a way to get Twitch to recognize systemic issues. Many also used the hashtag to discuss incidents of harassment and abuse that happened on the platform, and spoke of ways that they felt Twitch didn't act quickly enough or was too lenient in the event a streamer broke guidelines.
Even if some streamers didn't take part in the blackout, many used their platform to address issues around harassment, racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia and more during their streams.
The blog post comes after the blackout, although it's unclear if it's in direct response.
Twitch has been communicating with the public on this matter. On Sunday, it said in a statement posted on Twitter that it was "actively looking into the accounts concerning streamers affiliated with Twitch." CEO Emmet Shear also shared an internal email on Twitter affirming that the company is taking the accusations "very seriously."
"We support people coming forward, commend their bravery in doing so, and know there are many others who have not," he wrote in the email. "I want Twitch to be the safest place to create on the internet."
There's been a lot of important conversation happening over the previous couple days, and I've heard your voices. I'd like to share the email I just sent internally to the company on the topic. pic.twitter.com/B1V34lT9EIThere's been a lot of important conversation happening over the previous couple days, and I've heard your voices. I'd like to share the email I just sent internally to the company on the topic. pic.twitter.com/B1V34lT9EI— Emmett Shear (@eshear) June 23, 2020June 23, 2020
Twitch has been making efforts to quell harassment on its platform, along with discrepancies in how its rules are carried out. In May, it announced it would be forming a Safety Advisory Council to help draft and clarify policies.
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