#TwitchIsOverParty Trends As Users Vow to Leave Platform After Porn Appears on Streamer Ninja's Page

The Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch is facing heavy criticism on social media after it hosted pornography on the former channel of Richard Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, a gamer who recently left the website in favor of a rival service by Microsoft known as Mixer.

As Blevins moved to address the issue, Twitter was swarmed with thousands of comments—as users discussed Twitch controversies under the hashtag #TwitchIsOverParty.

Twitch is the dominant platform in the niche-but-massive industry, as millions of streamers produce real-time content often centered around video games such as Fortnite.

Many users make a good living on the website, letting viewers pay money to subscribe to their channels. Before he left, Blevins amassed a whopping 14 million followers. His exclusive deal with Mixer was announced last Thursday and he quickly brought in one million fans.

After Blevins left, Twitch was met with criticism for removing his verification badge. Yesterday, it was in the spotlight again after deciding to use his old account to promote other channels via an algorithm. One trending stream in the kid-friendly Fortnite category, which Blevins had been known for, turned out to be hardcore adult content. It was prominently featured for hours.

On Twitter, Blevins said he was "disgusted" by the situation.

He said in a video: "There was a porn account which was number one being recommended on my channel. And I have no say in any of this stuff. This is the line, this is the straw.

"We're trying to get the whole channel taken down to begin with, or at least not promote other streamers and other channels on my brand, on my frigging profile. So for anyone who saw that, for anyone whose kids, or anyone, who just didn't want to see that, I apologize, and I'm sorry."

The popular streamer said in a later tweet that the situation would never have surfaced if Twitch did not use his former channel to promote other streams.

Amazon, which owns Twitch, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the streaming platform's boss addressed the criticism on his Twitter profile yesterday.

Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said: "Our community comes to Twitch looking for live content. To help ensure they find great, live channels we've been experimenting with showing recommended content across Twitch, including on streamer's pages that are offline.

He continued: "This helps all streamers as it creates new community connections. However, the lewd content that appeared on the Ninja offline channel page grossly violates our terms of service, and we've permanently suspended the account in question.

"We have also suspended these recommendations while we investigate how this content came to be promoted. On a more personal note, I want to apologize directly to Ninja that this happened. It wasn't our intent, but it should not have happened. No excuses."

The #TwitchIsOverParty trend was not limited to Blevins' situation. While no doubt sparked by it, others have voiced frustration that not all streamers are being held to the same standards.

Some claimed that Alinity, a female streamer, had not been properly disciplined for allegedly using a racial slur and throwing a cat. A similar accusation was recently leveled towards Amouranth, a female streamer who was filmed appearing to use a racial slur—an accusation that she denied.

Responding to racial slur criticism, Alinity said in a statement on her Twitter profile: "English is not my first language, I mispronounce and mumble words. I'm sorry to anyone offended by things they think I said. I didn't call my teammate a slur, I stumbled on my words."

Amouranth addressed the allegation against her in a series of Twitter posts on August 8, writing: "People seem to want a crusade here. In a way it's sad how en mass social media/outrage culture is unable to entertain the possibility that what they heard may not actually be what was said." She added: "Everyone is running around screaming "I KNOW WHAT I HEARD."

Both Amouranth and Alinity have both received significant amounts of misogynistic, abusive and harassing comments online in the past, as reported by Polygon in June last year.

Richard Tyler Blevins
Richard Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja, speaks to the crowd at the start of the 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals - Round Two on July 27, 2019, at Arthur Ashe Stadium, in New York City. - On August 1, 2019 Ninja announced he was leaving Twitch to take his video-game livestreams exclusively to Microsoft's streaming service: Mixer. JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty

It's not yet clear how serious streamers are about the #TwitchIsOverParty trend or if it will have any real impact on the company. A large number of posts on the subject were, unsurprisingly, jokes and memes. Some users have claimed to be following Blevins to Mixer, but it is not clear if they will stick around after a two-month free subscription gifted to them at no cost runs dry.

One Twitter user wrote: "I just deleted my Twitch account. I was planning to start using Twitch for casual streams, but screw Twitch, I'll just use Mixer. I can't stand the stupid decisions Twitch has been making lately." Another appealed: "Do your part and delete the Twitch app."

Unless other major streamers such follow suit, it is unlikely to have an impact.

Still, Omeed Dariani, CEO of the Online Performers Group, which represents Twitch streamers, said in his analysis of the situation that Twitch had "really f**ked up" with the Ninja case.

He wrote: "When the top link on a channel that used to be frequented by kids who play Fortnite is showing porn... that is just a perfect storm of sh**. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how easily Ninja could retake the high road. And he did. He did it by being professional the entire transition, by keeping his mouth shut about frustrations that any broadcaster of his size might have with a giant platform. And, handed that perfect moment, he played it perfectly."

Read Ninja's statement:

In full, Blevins said: "As you guys know I'm streaming on Mixer now. My team and I have made sure that the transition went incredibly smooth. Super professional. We haven't said anything bad or negative about Twitch, obviously, because there hadn't been any reason to.

"Over the last couple of days there have been some things that have been going on that we let slide. They were kind of annoying, little jabs we felt like, but it didn't matter. We wanted to stay professional. But now, for those of you who don't know, if you go to Twitch.tv/Ninja they advertise other channels. They don't do this for anyone else that is offline by the way. Just me. There are also other streamers who have signed with other platforms whose channels still remain the same. You can see their VODs. They don't promote other streams.

"They don't promote other popular channels. But they do on mine. I have been streaming for eight years. To build my brand, to build that channel. Fourteen-and-a-half million followers. And they were still using my channel to promote other streamers.

"Now, there was a porn account which was number one being recommended on my channel. And I have no say in any of this stuff. This is the line, this is the straw. We're trying to get the whole channel taken down to begin with, or at least not promote other streamers and other channels on my brand, on my frigging profile. So for anyone who saw that, for anyone whose kids, or anyone who just didn't want to see that, I apologize, and I'm sorry."

Tyler
Tyler "Ninja" Blevins looks on prior to playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 during the Doritos Bowl 2018 at TwitchCon 2018 in the San Jose Convention Center on October 27, 2018 in San Jose, California. Robert Reiners/Getty
#TwitchIsOverParty Trends As Users Vow to Leave Platform After Porn Appears on Streamer Ninja's Page | Tech & Science
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