Last week, Twitch deleted the face of its very popular PogChamp emoticon Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez after the mob ransacked the building and called for further violence in the Capitol. After that, Twitch responded to the community’s suggestions on emoji-why is there not a different face every day representing the hype on Twitch?
Yo @Twitch’s suggestion for PogChamp: Create a database of streamers and/or ordinary faces. Whenever someone types PogChamp, one of the faces is displayed randomly. It will bring real goodwill to PogChamp of chat spam and let the meaning connect with all of us.
— Sean Plot (@ day9tv) January 7, 2021
This is what the company does.Three days after the experiment began, Omega “CriticalBard” Jones became a partner of the black streamer band Key role, And become the representative of the global emoji. Racist harassment occurred almost immediately.
“It was good at the beginning. I was nervous. I wanted to talk about it beforehand. I prepared my mod on Twitch,” Jones said. “They were like,’Well, today the PogChamp guys look good. So I think you will be fine. I said “Ha, but I’m black. “Jones began to receive comments from people on Twitter, saying that he doesn’t look like PogChamp, and Twitch should bring back the old expression, and then “A small group of people, how about you?” Know, say racist words. “However, when he lived on Twitch, the trouble really started.
Jones is playing Overwatch He said: “When dealing with friends, “I don’t play well, which is why I am not competitive. “Jones said: “But it’s irrelevant to the subject of black life. “Then someone mentioned the life of white people, anyway. I said, “No, white people’s lives are okay, because white people’s lives are not the same thing.”
The last thing before I actually lie down.
Some dudebros decided to edit a small part of my video stream, making me appear to be “racist towards white people.”
Please allow me to post the complete clip and get your wishes from it.
Gossip PogChamp. pic.twitter.com/jNZq6iDvSk
-Fatal blow! ✊ (@CriticalBard) January 11, 2021
The clip is circulated in the Twitch script subreddit/r/LivestreamFail and the entire Internet for watching live broadcasts. However, it is out of context. Jones said: “I said, you can be proud of being an Italian, and you can be proud of being a Scot, because these people are nationalities.” “That is your heritage.” He continued:
You cannot be proud of white people. Because whiteness is a concept created only because blackness becomes a thing. The reason why black people became the only reason is that we, as black people, were taken out of Africa, enslaved, and dusted off without our consent. Our literal heritage and identity were taken away by us. In the United States, what we must insist-mostly blacks-is our blacks. Therefore, there is a black culture and no white culture. There has never been a white culture.
This is an elegant way to come up with a very complicated concept that people all over the Internet seem to want to misunderstand. To discuss American race is to discuss power dynamics and history. If you don’t understand it, it’s hard to understand. Jones said he is trying to explain this to people. He said: “But you know that a racist must be a racist.”
Jones said that he wants to be the face of PogChamp because it means a lot to others who want to see marginalized people on Twitch. “If it means other people can see what they know, I can deal with a little bull. Their color. Or someone they can identify with.” He said. He also thought of the rotating emoji based on the community. “Interestingly, people don’t even care about PogChamp at all. They just care about keeping what they think is traditional.” Jones said. “But if PogChamp is that kind of excitement, it doesn’t matter whose face it is.”
Jones’ harassment pointed to a bigger problem on Twitch: The site does not seem to know how to protect its creators from marginalized backgrounds and from toxic elements in its community. Jones told me that the Twitch representative who initially contacted him to become the face of PogChamp did say that companies that plan to provide PogChamp in the future face additional review support in their channel. But Jones said it was not enough. Jones said: “What annoys me is that they are not doing what everyone can do. This is to ban these people from accessing your platform. If we want to enter the platform, we need to start banning IP addresses.”
Jones said that in addition, it seems that the Black Twitch community has not spoken to the company on this issue in the past. “Like yesterday, someone said,’Twitch, you need to solve this problem.’ Racism is very popular on Twitch. They haven’t done anything about it yet.” Jones said. “So this lets us go,’Well, what’s the point of that?'”
Twitch skewed Jones’ harassment in a Twitter post yesterday, and the company wrote in the letter that it believes in celebrating diversity. When I asked for more details, a Twitch spokesperson sent me the following statement:
Every day it is emphasized that a new PogChamp is an idea that comes directly from our community and was created in the spirit of celebrating the diversity of Twitch creators. Although we have seen overwhelmingly positive responses from the community and key individuals, we also maintain close contact with the new faces of PogChamp to provide support as needed. We will not tolerate harassment of Twitch and will take action on any service behavior that violates our rules.
Hateful behavior and harassment hinder this ideal and have no place on Twitch, social media, or anywhere else.
We will continue to take action against those who violate our community guidelines and try to harm our community and creators.
-Twitch (@Twitch) January 13, 2021
But in Jones’ view, this is not enough. “They didn’t even say,’We are sorry.’ They said that we are trying to make this place and all these things more diverse,” he said. “They didn’t condemn anything. They need to start condemning these things.” Jones continued. “They need to start saying,’This is not the platform we want. This is not the platform we advocate. People will start to see the impact of their actions. They will begin to see the consequences of what they do.”
Jones also tried to clarify that it was not just random Twitch users who harassed him. He said this was guided by some members and Twitch partners. “If Twitch is a company that says’we disagree’, then you need to prove that you disagree. Aka, terminate their account and get rid of their partner badge. Get rid of the membership. Because I’m pretty sure of the partners and Membership rules and all of this content, so you really can’t do hate speech and things like that. But I think, when Twitch makes money, is it okay?”
However, the harassment did not scare Jones. Some people in the community gathered for his defense, such as the famous political streamer Hasan “hasanabi” Piker, who personally defended Jones. Jones said: “I like to watch Hassan clips.” “One of the best things that can give you all the light, the nutrition you need in life is to watch these people look up at someone and expect them to enjoy standing. On their side, but they are not.”
He also told me that he saw a huge influx of new subscribers-“but I won’t be like’thank you racist’,” Jones joked-he is still here. He said: “Since we were born, black people have had to travel the world with a high degree of vigilance.” “So they are actually powerless. I messed up. I have a death threat. You can tell you with two ratings Almost everything behind the keyboard that you can’t afford. You can say all of this, but understand, you are just cheering.”
February is Black History Month, and Jones told me that Twitch has begun to contact well-known black creators for activation. This is an unresolved question. Whether Twitch announced in December and took effect at the end of this month’s overhauled hate behavior policy will have an impact on Twitch’s marginal crowd in the spotlight. Like everything else, the devil is in execution. Will Twitch protect marginalized creators?