Just because you’re not the one streaming doesn’t mean you won’t be held responsible.
That’s the attitude taken by Twitch recently, which has opted to shut down Japanese IRL streamer Hyubsama‘s channel following a physical altercation.
The altercation took place in the background of an IRL stream from writer, internet rapper and actor Andy Milonakis. Milonakis was walking around the streets of Tokyo, and one of his followers from chat had asked if they could tag along. Hyubsama, who had featured in most of Milonakis’s Japan streams up until that point, wasn’t aware, and seemed increasingly uncomfortable with being followed around.
After having a chat to the follower, the Japanese streamer escalated things by slapping the follower’s phone to the ground.
As explained in a follow-up stream, Milonakis told the follower that it was OK that they could come along, and that there didn’t seem to be any need for the blowup.
But Hyubsama is no stranger to controversy. The IRL streamer, who predominately broadcast from various bars and eateries around Tokyo whose channel took off around May last year, gained notoriety for admitting to his girlfriend on-stream that he’d cheated, only to continue streaming for over an hour. The stream continued despite the obvious, raw distress of his partner.
Hyubsama’s channel has since been taken down by Twitch, and he apologised on Twitter for his temper. “I understand now that it was not how an adult should have handled the situation,” he wrote. But the incident already resulted in Milonakis and others to distance themselves from the Japanese streamer. In a separate video on Thursday, the American writer and streamer questioned the repeated “arsehole” behaviour.
The critical element amongst all of this is Twitch’s decision to take action against a streamer for their actions on someone else’s stream. Twitch’s guidelines and terms of service are pretty clear when it comes to threats or the use of violence: Do so, and you’ll find yourself banned pretty quickly. But there’s no explicit clause warning users about their behaviour on other people’s streams. The terms of service note that users should not “defame, harass, abuse threaten or defraud users of the Twitch Services”, but it’s written in a way that’s targeted at the individual streamer or Twitch user.
But situations like this are also why blanket “reserve the right to suspend any account at any time” clauses exist. Maintaining standards around what people do on other streams, particularly on IRL streams and in a world where scrutiny of livestreaming is at an all-time high, matters.
The Australian government has scolded representatives from the major tech companies at a meeting in Queensland on Tuesday, calling on the tech giants like Facebook and Twitter to convince regulators that they can monitor and crackdown on violent content livestreamed on their platforms.Read more