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Black creators demand Twitch do more to tackle racism on platform

Black creators demand Twitch do more to tackle racism on platform

Black streamers, technologists and racial justice organisers forming the #TwitchDoBetter movement have asked that the platform does more to tackle racism and hate raids on its platform.

In an open letter to Twitch CEO Emmett Shear and the company's senior leadership team, #TwitchDoBetter said that it wanted the streaming service to do more to protect Black people on its platform. The organisation also called Twitch's Black History Month initiatives – which spotlighted Black creators – as "sorely inadequate."

"Twitch must address its complicity in anti-Black racism on the platform," the organisation wrote.

"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."

#TwitchDoBetter continued: "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. 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. And, Black History Month 2022 is no different.

"The celebration of Black brilliance and Black joy should not be limited to February. Twitch should explore ways to boost the discoverability of Black streamers every day, provide support to Black creators featured on the Front Page every time, and ensure that Black creators feel safe doing what we love: streaming with the community we’ve poured into over the last few years. We are demanding that you make your commitment to Black streamers transparent and tangible, now. #TwitchDoBetter."

This comes in the wake of the #ADayOffTwitch protest in September 2021 to protest hate raids on the platform. This led to a 21 per cent drop-off in peak viewership on the service week-on-week.

Twitch has since rolled out new features to curb harassment, though #TwitchDoBetter says that there is a lot more to be done.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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