My chill take on Twitch Safety Advisory Council

Yeah, there was a lot of 5Head blog posts last week and I wanted to get back to game reviews and such stuff, but you never know when something worth posting happens, so here we go again with a big brain big text. Actually was debating about sending it after I already wrote everything, don’t want it to look like some sort of attempt to ride the drama wave, clickbait etc, but it’s mostly my viewers who will read it anyway and I just like sharing my thoughts.

For those of you who don’t know, Twitch last week created a new “organization” that is supposed to advise them on many topics regarding the platform – from development of new tech features to creating new policies and rules. Council is 8 people currently and has various experts in different fields and of course streamers. These news are all over Twitch and nearby, but unfortunately not because people are already discussing how council can make things better etc, but because of drama and I gonna try to just give my calm subjective opinion on all this situation here, so people can just read it here (even though I’m pretty sure there still will be questions and discussions in chat from time to time)…

So first of all I’m not gonna go deep into the drama with posting clips etc, if you want, you can find all that on livestreamfails and in some YT videos/memes all over the place, but I will stay away from that, I don’t like drama and don’t want to fuel any of that, but I want to try to calmly express my opinion on that and what we all and Twitch first of all should see behind that drama.

In short – they added a person who opposes voice communications in videogames, which is her personal position mentioned in bio and that they put in blog post announcement of council. Obviously that position triggered a lot of people and some voices of disappointment already started appearing here and there, then people obviously went to that person’s channel to see who it is, because it’s not a big name like CohhCarnage for example and people were curious to see who that is and what’s about that position against voice chat. This is where people learned that she’s also trans, identifying as a deer and dug out lots of clips from the past and brought them to LSF, made some new clips after talking with that person on stream and hate powered meme machine started working. That’s like tl;dr of all the situation, so now my thoughts and position.

First and foremost – having trans person, deer person, both in one or anyone identifying as anything on the council is completely normal, some can say it’s some SJW stuff, virtue signalling etc, but it doesn’t really matter, because this council’s goal is to get representatives from different backgrounds to communicate with Twitch and provide them with their perspective, so inclusivity and diversity are key things. Nothing against that fact and I really don’t like that a lot of people are using those things now in their attacks on the person, making it just easier to counter any criticism now with “it’s just because she’s not like others and everyone attacks her just for that reason”.

Second – her take about voice chat in games is absolutely red hot, very hot take, I wouldn’t even try to argue that, just gonna say that I disagree with that completely, even though I’m a person who avoids voice communications in games unless I’m playing with people I know and in the mood for that, I still think comms are needed and important, problem is not in comms themselves, but in toxicity, if you remove voice they will do it in text, you remove text they will go and teabag you, you remove crouching they will find something else I’m sure, so how about we fight the disease instead of symptoms through which it manifests? But thing is, that hot take is her personal opinion, I really don’t know why they put it in blog announcement post, probably to try to point out her being an activist with position, but it clearly backfired by rubbing people wrong way. Main thing to keep in mind is that council is only advisory organization and then Twitch is also not a company that can do anything with voice comms in games, they aren’t developers and they would only be able to advise dev companies, so that’s like double advice layer, no real power.

Now that we know some main things and background – I’m totally against all the attacks on the person, but criticism is absolutely justified and I’m personally not happy with how that person currently creates the image of the council. First of all, no matter who the person is and identifies, it is still important to maintain proper code of conduct of official representative of platform and to be respectful to everyone. Hearing that all gamers are white supremacists and all that shizz on public live stream of person that is supposed to represent marginalized communities on Twitch just ruins it, because it marginalizes other community, maybe huge one, but it doesn’t make it better – you don’t fight discrimination with discrimination. If I would say something like this about her or someone else, I would probably be banned or had some kind of warning and such lack of equality is also an issue that should be solved, preferably just by everyone not saying anything offensive towards each other, but if that happens, then everyone should be treated and punished equally. And also because of that a lot of people are afraid to criticize in this situation and try to just avoid it or move it into joke plane, because they might get called transphobic, even though I’m pretty sure many have actually valid points and ready to talk about it in civilized way (what I’m trying to do here for example). That is literally the only thing I dislike in council currently and I hope it will be fixed, nothing personal and I don’t even mind the hot takes, I just want person that is on council with people who actually want to make a difference to behave in a way that would not compromise all their work and reputation. Not necessarily replacing the person, maybe she will do a great job in the council, but at least having a conversation and explaining such things + setting some boundaries, but worst case I’m pretty sure that marginalized communities have amazing streamers there that wouldn’t cause such a riot.

Overall, I’m very happy that Twitch decided to organize such council and I’m glad that CohhCarnage is a part of it and as a partnered streamer myself I’m sure that he will do everything to make things better for all of us. Other than that I guess we will see what’s coming, I just hope it will actually work and won’t just put a bunch of people as a shield that will absorb all the criticism. Here’s my view on this, hope it’s a good food for thoughts.

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