Earlier this week, it came to light that Twitch was running ads in blatant opposition to the Amazon warehouse worker unionisation effort in Bessemer, Alabama. Streamers, who had no say in whether or not these ads appeared during their broadcasts, were outraged. Today, Twitch has removed the ads, saying that they never should have run in the first place.
Despite being owned by Amazon, Twitch said in a statement to Kotaku that its parent company’s ads have no place on the streaming platform.
“Twitch does not allow political advertising, and these ads should never have been allowed to run on our service,” a Twitch spokesperson said in an email. “We have removed these ads and are evaluating our review processes to ensure that similar content does not run in the future. We are grateful to our community for bringing this to our attention.”
The ads depict Amazon employees regurgitating standard anti-union lines: Everything is fine as is, unions do nothing but take people’s money, etc. According to pro-union publication More Perfect Union, the ads ran before and during streams watched by viewers in Alabama.
Over the past couple days, numerous streamers have spoken out against the ads.
“Amazon running anti-union propaganda is heinous and beyond despicable,” Twitch partner Saira said on Twitter. “ I’m no longer running ads in my stream until I get to choose them. Please use adblock on my channel! Chat will keep you entertained during the purple screen in the meantime.”
“This is abhorrent, despicable, and absolutely unacceptable,” said Twitch partner and StreamerSquare CEO Lowco. “ I will not be running ads on my channel so long as Twitch allows for these anti-union spots. Hell no.”