As we’ve covered, yesterday thousands of streamers took the day off on Twitch to protest the site’s ongoing facilitation of harassment campaigns known as hate raids. And while regular readers of video game websites would have been armed with a lot of information going into the day, viewers of TV news needed things explained more clearly.
To help get the information across in a short 2-minute segment, Fox 5 New York got VTuber Buffpup on to help explain the protest and their experiences on the platform. While the combination of the words “Fox News” and “Vtuber” may lead you down a certain assumptive path, the whole thing was played so straight—and so informatively—that it stands as one of the better examples in the genre of “trying to explain video game shit to everyday people,” I can think of! Especially given TV network’s track record when it comes to online stuff.
If you missed the news over the last couple of days, a ton of streamers refused to broadcast yesterday over the platform’s continued allowance of “hate raids,” instances where malicious users employing bot accounts flood the chat channels of marginalised streamers and streamers of colour. Rallying around the hashtag #ADayOffTwitch, early reports indicate they did indeed put a dent in Twitch’s traffic for the day:
While the Amazon-owned streaming platform has yet to implement proposed changes to the controversial raid system, it’s clear what some previously dismissed as a small movement has had a big impact, potentially costing Twitch roughly 22% of its peak concurrent traffic for the day.
That number comes from TwitchTracker which provides outside data on platform metrics like how many people are streaming and how many are watching. While Twitch normally peaks at 4.5 million concurrent viewers on any given day, on Wednesday it hung at about 3.5 million instead. That drop came as the number of content creators streaming on the platform dropped by over 10,000 as they rallied around the hashtag #ADayOffTwitch.
Update: 09/02/2021 10:00 p.m. ET: OK, as an Australian it seems I haven’t quite grasped the difference between regional affiliate stations and the main channel, but still! The main point of the post, and which I’ve already linked to—that all network TV stations, from CNN to Fox, have struggled with this stuff lately—still stands, so I’ll leave the post as is.