Twitch Wouldn’t Do It, So Minority Streamers Built Their Own Discoverability Platform

Twitch Wouldn’t Do It, So Minority Streamers Built Their Own Discoverability Platform
Screenshot: Twitch

Twitch Safety Advisor Council member and trans woman Steph “FerociouslySteph” Loehr has created a third-party site allowing marginalised Twitch streamers to build communities around their identity.

While this is a huge win for diversity and inclusivity in streaming, it serves as a stark reminder of Twitch’s repeated failings when it comes to protecting its users.

Peer2Peer.Live is a completely separate entity to Twitch that allows streamers to tag themselves with phrases that represent who they are and the communities they are a part of. Options include “lesbian”, “trans”, “disabled” or “Muslim”, thus allowing streamers who identify as these labels to find and support each other.

Comparatively, Twitch only has a single identity-based tag -“LGBTQIA+”, which not only lumps a large and extremely diverse community into a one-size-fits-all box but also means that there are no identity-based tags for race, religion or ability.

“The essence is that people of marginalised identities feel safest in spaces that understand them, and the easiest way to find those safe spaces is by finding their peers,” Loehr told Engadget. “And that discoverability has been totally blocked by Twitch.”

Peer2Peer.Live is a win for the whole community whether you’re a viewer or a streamer. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that the community had to build it themselves.

FerociouslySteph has been on Twitch’s Safety Advisor Council since its inception, so it’s pretty fair to assume that she probably would’ve suggested that the company implements something similar at some point during her tenure.

But did they do it? Absolutely not.

FerociouslySteph claimed Twitch didn’t do their due diligence in protecting her, when backlash to the council’s rollout resulted in her being doxxed. So if they’re not protecting members of their own safety board, it’s likely the general public isn’t getting much help either.

“Twitch has not done enough to protect me in the slightest,” she said.

Pansexual non-binary trans woman Lucia Everblack suffered a similar experience, which lead her to join the team at Peer2Peer. But Everblack made a point to emphasise just how simple it would be for Twitch to implement these strategies.

“The tags that they have, it’s not like they’re adding an entire infrastructure behind it,” she said. “If they wanted to add new tags, it would literally just be adding something to a database that has ‘trans’ and then some unique ID to it. And that’s it. There’s no complexity to that.”

Interestingly, FerociouslySteph pointed out Twitch features diverse creators when it’s trending, but seems to let them down on a daily basis.

“I think they feel like they will mess it up and aren’t capable. They feel that they are not equipped to support marginalised communities and the safety of these marginalised communities on their platform,” she said. “But they also love to feature us on Pride Month and Black History Month, and so they’re wanting to reap the rewards without accepting the responsibility.”

Peer2Peer went live on March 20, 2021 and has so far had over 1,600 applications from streamers who are interested in the service.

Kotaku Australia has reached out to Twitch for comment but is yet to hear back.

 

Comments

  • This seems really helpful. I really liked the mental/physical ability tags. But there were some glaring ommisions. They had tags for most major world religions except for Christianity. Also any ‘white’ Ethnic tags e.g Scandanavian were also left out.

    • Feel free to make your own White Aryan Christian Master Race discoverability platform then. Not sure how popular it’s going to be though, since there’s a platform that largely does what you’re looking for out there already called “The Internet”.

      • With internet anonymity I don’t know where you live or what your background is. But attacking people rather than their comments doesn’t build anything, it doesn’t achieve anything it just adds a little more hate to a world already full of it. I wish you all the best.

        • Calling out a website that’s explicitly designed to assist minorities find each other because it has somehow accidentally forgotten to accommodate blond haired, blue-eyed Christians? That’s all peace, love and mungbeans, right? Nothing controversial there, just a helpful suggestion from a community-minded citizen of the internet.

          Seriously dude, I simply pointed out that white Christian people are pretty well represented on the internet and therefore that you might have trouble finding much interest in your suggested tags. That’s hardly an attack, at least it engaged with what you said, and at worst was about the same quality throw-away as your initial comment, coupled with some light humour. What explicitly would have made you happy, other than full throated enthusiastic agreement?

          Talk about a thin skin. Regardless, thank you for your advices Mr Concern Troll. Well played.

          • @Simocrates dude, this article would have breezed past me like a Twisty packet in the wind if it wasn’t for the usual hyperventilation in the comment section about how unfair life is to straight white males.

            Frankly, the idea that you guys seem to think that your call the waaambulance behaviour is somehow normal, acceptable or even representative is completely ripe for someone to make fun of. And as it happens, making fun of big babies is a hobby of mine.

            But look, someone has to do it because otherwise you guys bury so deep into your own alt-right echo chamber that you end up convincing yourselves that a small minority of Kotaku.au commentators are smarter and more representative than the people actually writing the articles.

            That, and I wouldn’t want to leave your reactionary white male rights view of the universe unchallenged simply because you’ve driven away just every other sane commenter on this website.

          • Don’t know why you are making sweeping generalisations and labelling commenters in the same basket. As for your other reasons, from someone who has no horse in this race, you definitely come across as overly aggressive and unhinged. Just need to relax a bit and find some inner peace mate. You can’t be happy if your behaviour here is your hobby.

  • The whole point is that those people who aren’t marginalised already have other ways to be discoverable. Because they aren’t pushed to the margins.

    A group of marginalised people find a way to lift themselves up and the first reaction is that they didn’t include the straight, white people. Just… I can’t even.

    I’d say it’s fucking unbelievable but it’s not. It’s par for the course.

    • tags for everyone, or tags for no-one.

      once you start omitting or “forgetting” certain groups, you can’t exactly call yourself “inclusive” considering you have most definitely excluded groups.

      I mean, just having a cursory glance at the site, under the tag for “ability and mental health” I see “autistic”, but then I see “neurodivergent” which is a neurodivergence and falls under that label. Why don’t other forms of neurodivergence get their own tags? Why are they just lumped into a catch-all? I mean, “Twitch only has a single identity-based tag -“LGBTQIA+”, which not only lumps a large and extremely diverse community into a one-size-fits-all box” So this has already shown itself to be no better. Btw, where’s the “depressed” tag? etc etc etc

      Hell, let’s go further. Under the tag “religion”, I see “Muslim”.. But what if I want to watch a Shi’ite Muslim and not a Sunni Muslim? They are different you know…

      One more… I see under the label of “race/ethnicity” the tag, “Indigenous/First Nations”.. Do I really need to go into the very distinct and numerous differences between Native Americans and Australian Aborigines, who both fall under that label? Or shall we just assume they are exactly the same?

      If you’re going to go out and do something to be “inclusive”, then have tags for all. Otherwise don’t complain about the company you’re accusing of not being “inclusive”, when you are excluding people, or worse, lumping them into “catch-all” groups.

      • Man, that’s one big arse straw man you’ve worked yourself up to there.

        So… they didn’t go deep enough for your taste into some random category or other that you have no personal interest in whatsoever.

        Seriously mate, if there’s a tag they’re missing that you’d like to see included send them an email. The service has been live for less than a month ffs.

      • “My favourite thing is seeing straight white men get upset they aren’t included in initiatives for minorities. Like you’re literally complaining that you’re not oppressed enough”

        You’ll never believe who tweeted this.

  • I suppose it is a good thing, for people of that sort who need to find similar people for whatever reason, be it support or community or what have you.

    It’s nothing I’d ever use. When it comes to streamers, I’m not interested in race, gender, sexuality, etc, etc, all that idpol stuff. Just the games they play.

    • That’s easy enough to say when 90% of the hits you get when searching for a game already look and sound. just. like. you.

  • You seem to have missed the part about this explicitly being a specialist discoverability platform for “minority streamers”.

  • Forgive me, but how can you be trans non binary? Trans acknowledges you transitioning from one sex to the other, but non binary excludes yourself from identifying with a sex. I dont understand, can someone please someone explain.

  • Lol good job Kotaku admin.

    You’ve just shown yourselves to be nothing but ego strokers and enablers. No wonder a certain someone has such an inflated sense of self. Allow those posts and delete the replies to them, which were no worse than what you are currently allowing…

    I look forward to the deletion of this also.

    How about you put your time and effort into doing something actually worthwhile like listening to the constant criticism this site has gotten in regards to it’s horrid usability, lack of dark mode and autoplay embedded videos, instead of stroking angry’s ego with babyoil.

    • I get that comments that might just be inflammatory bickering against another user (like this one) are good deletion fodder, but I didn’t think mine was worthy of such action. If anything, I was being polite.

      But you, nuffman, et al, do need to learn to get along with Angora. You all like rolling in the mud but you all know it’s fruitless, so why bother?
      And no, I guess there’s absolutely no need to learn but wouldn’t it be nice?

      • The deletion of your comment is what actually angered me the most. Utterly unnecessary, especially considering angry’s comment to you was nothing but purposefully inflammatory, while yours was nothing but de-escalation. Yet who’s comment was deleted? Utterly ridiculous.

        As for getting along, I acknowledge the sentiment behind it… but angry screams of someone who’s parents were friends first and parents last. They worship the land he walked on. He is the comedy fodder on Australian Idol. I choose not to get along with him, because quite frankly, he openly refuses to on principle.

        And Kotaku admin do nothing but stroke his ego, like his parents.

      • You cant get along with fishboy, its simply impossible.
        Also even though this post will probably be deleted too, Never forget that the Kotaku Admins allowed a post (even after it was reported) that encouraged other members of the kotaku community to kill themselves, how they wanna kill all conservatives, yet will delete anything calling an antagonistic poster as toxic.
        So expecting them to be reasonable is like leaving the porch light on for Harold Holt.
        So dont be shocked by the fact Kotakus admin team agrees with fishboy on most topics and his behaviour.

    • Looks to me that Kotaku has happily left your initial comments, they’ve just deleted down-threads where they’ve degenerated into a biggus dickus swinging match.

      And I’ve lost several replies too, don’t go around thinking that you’re some specially singled-out victim here.

      • “they’ve just deleted down-threads where they’ve degenerated into a biggus dickus swinging match.”

        You mean the ones that you have very specifically started?

        “And I’ve lost several replies too, don’t go around thinking that you’re some specially singled-out victim here.”

        You replies you lost were add-ons to the comments you replied to, of course those would go. Don’t have to be a genius to work that out. The issue is where they chose to cut off said down-threads. They deleted John_Stalvern’s attempt at de-escalation, yet kept all of your very purposefully inflammatory responses to literally everyone.

        YOU’RE the degenerate turning everything into a dick swinging contest.

        • No. For example, I replied directly to djbear’s comment “So you don’t want equality, You want equity?” but my reply is now gone while his remains.

          But dude, feel free to keep throwing ad hominems as if they contrinute in some way to some kind of discussion.

          This is why I like responding to you guys. For you alt-right types it’s always about how people just don’t seem to get how much you, specifically, personally are the real victim in all this. Kotaku just doesn’t appreciate how victimised you are, every single day.

          Didn’t get your straight white tag on a website for minorities, more proof of your victimhood! Your abusive post was deleted? even more evidence!

          Seriously, how does it feel to go through life feeling that somehow Kotaku mods, and indeed the world in general, is out to get you, personally?

          You also have a distinct lack of self-awareness. Every comment is some angry reaction to political correctness, or so-called favourable treatment that someone else is allegedly getting that you personally aren’t. Someone isn’t laughing at a joke that you think is funny? It’s a conspiracy againt you!

          You’re angry and you’re not afraid to let us all know it.

          It’s no wonder that many of your comments end up deleted. You’re critical of the articles, you’re critical or the authors, you’re critical of Kotaku (other than the “good” local stuff, ofc) and your seething underlying angry sense of victimhood comes across immediately to everyone who is not already riding on the exact same horse that you’re already riding on.

          • Tell us you’re a tool with a superiority complex, without stating you’re a tool with a superiority complex

            just an fyi, can’t keep relying on the “omgosh, you used an ad hominem against me, this invalidates your entire position” When you have been doing just that…

            Also, you keep throwing around the “alt-right” label… Only reason you would think that is because you are so far left, Mao is in your rear-view. Anything right of Mao is “alt-right” for you.

            “Didn’t get your straight white tag on a website for minorities, more proof of your victimhood” Where did I say I wanted that? I just pointed out the lack of diversity and inclusivity in their diverse and inclusive website.

            “You’re angry and you’re not afraid to let us all know it.” Says the guy that replied to every. single. comment.

            In actuality, the only time people’s comments get deleted (by a large margin) is once you have inserted yourself with your purposefully and targeted inflammatory comments.

        • Also, you might notice, as is typical, that I haven’t in fact “very specifically started” one single thread. All I’ve done is respond to various attempts at jumping on the poor white Christian victim waaambulance.

          Had you guys not already been behaving like big babies you would not have heard a peep out of me.

          Seriously, don’t go posting some concern troll comment if you’re not interested in reading anything other than furious agreement.

          • “feel free to keep throwing ad hominems as if they contrinute in some way to some kind of discussion.” *cough*

            ““they’ve just deleted down-threads where they’ve degenerated into a biggus dickus swinging match.”

            You mean the ones that you have very specifically started?”
            gee whizz… not hard to work out what this means… yet somehow, for you, it is. It’s very specific in it’s meaning, when did I say you started any threads?? Read it again. You’ll work it out

  • No, I get that. It’s clear that I’m 100% of the problem.

    Nothing whatsoever to do at all with all the woe is me white male victimhood shtick, the instant sniping of any article related to social justice, ever, and the constant running criticism of this site’s editorial line. I mean, if people actually liked the material that this website was pumping out they’d hardly be interested in reading it, or defending it, eh?

    No Officer, it’s not my fault. Sure I was loudly and proudly spouting opinionated racist drivel, but if he had just let me continue without calling me out on it then the pub would never have erupted into a full on brawl.” lol

    • No no no, you’re just a walking, talking hypocrite.

      You’re the sort of person that throws around “ad hominems” like it’s candy at halloween, then cries about it when people do it in response.

      You’re the sort of person that would proclaim that segregation was an evil thing, then champion the cause of the stupid American universities creating spaces exclusive to minority groups.

      You think you’re some kind of white knight, but all you are is intentionally antagonistic, hiding behind some kind of backwards logic that you think grants you some sort of moral superiority.

      You do nothing but throw out buzzwords, while purposely choosing to twist and misunderstand what most people are saying, just to puff up your own little ego.

      You’re just a sad little man angry.

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