This week on Twitch, a stop sign became a saga. Stopsigncam, a 24/7 stream of a single intersection in Salem, Massachusetts where drivers regularly blow through a stop with no concern for their lives or others, blew up thanks to a viral TikTok. But at the peak of its popularity, it went offline.
Since Wednesday night, Stopsigncam, which now has over 150,000 followers, has been dormant. When it initially came to a complete (not rolling) halt, viewers were perplexed.
“Well chat,” the channel’s owner said in Twitch chat, “it’s been real.” Then the broadcast ended.
Immediately, displaced viewers flooded into a Stopsigncam Discord, which was originally unofficial but has since become sorta-official, with questions and lamentations. They needed their fix of chill-yet-riveting stop sign action, but had no means of getting it. Some discussed whether they, personally, identified most with zoomers, rollers, or stoppers. Others hunted for alternatives. “Does anyone know any other stop sign cams I can watch in the meantime?” asked one.
A handful of viewers speculated that the stream went down because it was bothering the neighbors. They were right.
“I had a neighbor get a couple pizza deliveries in a row, and she called about it,” the owner of the Stopsigncam channel told Kotaku in a DM. “She said that she loved the chat and found it funny, but was worried she would get more. I told her that neighbors are more important than a stream and stopped streaming.”
Stopsigncam’s owner has since removed all VODs from their Twitch and YouTube channels.
Though regrettable, it’s not surprising that viewers figured out the stream’s location and started pulling pranks. Locals were able to find the sign with relative ease and, throughout the week, made Stopsigncam cameos in which they did backflips, danced, dueled each other with lightsabers, and performed all sorts of other stunts. Despite channel rules against it, it was only a matter of time until the address leaked. In the past couple days, multiple fake channels have appeared on Twitch and Instagram claiming to be affiliated with Stopsigncam and posting the address. Members of the Stopsigncam Discord have been playing whack-a-mole, reporting them as soon as they spring up.
In a world where doxxing and swatting are things that happen with upsetting regularity, it is a relief that Stopsigncam’s neighbors have only been subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous amounts of pizza. Still, Stopsigncam’s owner realizes things have gotten a bit too real, so they’ve decided to take the show on the road.
“We plan to go on the road, to the worst stop signs in the area, and commence the stream,” Stopsigncam’s owner said. “We shall see how it goes.”
This does not necessarily solve the problem of people being able to figure out where the stream is taking place, but it displaces it a little. Without the consistency of a single intersection, the memes may or may not flow as freely, but viewers don’t seem too worried.
“As a fellow native of Massachusetts, it is completely expected that Cam was able to easily find another suitable intersection to showcase how terrible the drivers in this state are,” wrote a fan in the Stopsigncam Discord.
In the Discord, Stopsigncam’s owner said the revamped stream will kick off this weekend. Oh, and they’re raising the stakes.
“Instead of a 3-way,” they wrote, “it will be...A 4 WAY.”