As video game streaming site Twitch grows in popularity, it was bound to have a few hiccups along the way. One of them recently involved an overzealous admin, who despite wanting to create emoticons of his boyfriend in furry form, saw fit to remove others that he claimed to be plagiarised – some of which were actually under the creative commons license. When people responded negatively, some with insults, many were banned in the fallout. Twitch's CEO has now apologised to a large body of them, suggesting that they shouldn't have had their accounts locked and that in the future, Twitch would be taking steps to avoid situations like this.
“We'd like to repair the damage that has been done to the relationship between Twitch and the Speedrunning community,” Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch, wrote on Reddit (via Kotaku). He continued by saying that harassment of any staff member was not to be tolerated, but that there was a portion of those banned which were essentially collateral damage.
“Horror (the Admin) was too close to this situation and should have recused himself in favor of less conflicted moderators. Being personally involved led to very poor decisions being made.”
Moving forward, he said that Twitch users that had been banned unfairly would be reinstated, that Twitch partners would also be unbanned – though there would be further investigated to ascertain if their ban was justified – the original furry emoticon has also been reemoved, all Twitch staff and admins will also be disciplined if they got too ban happy and the specific admin in question, has been reprimanded and will no longer be moderating at Twitch in any capacity.
Another mod “Jasonzm” threatened to ban those that called for Horror's removal. Source: Reddit
Beyond the emoticon issue though, many people have used this opportunity to point out a lot of unprofessional behaviour from Twitch employees. One cited example is the TwitchTVSupport account on Twitter, which was screengrabbed making passive aggressive comments about banning people.
That same Twitter has now tweeted an apology for its behaviour and included itself in suggestions of a shake up at the company and its practices as a support channel. It reads: “We apologize for any ill will. We want your Twitch experience to be fun and drama free. Thanks for all constructive feedback.”
KitGuru Says: Cracking down on something like this sounds like a smart move for Twitch. It's becoming a gaming powerhouse, but there is competition out there – if much smaller. It may take some time, but if Twitch isn't careful it could quickly lose its status as darling of the game streaming world.