Korean streamers protesting Twitch’s shutdown from the country with NSFW streams - Hindustan Times
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Korean streamers protesting Twitch’s shutdown from the country with NSFW contents

Feb 29, 2024 01:53 PM IST

Twitch faces a massive backlash as Korean streamers protest the platform's ad restrictions and new community guidelines.

Twitch delivered a huge blow to its Korean streamers when it declared in December 2023 that it would stop its operations in the country, along with new community guidelines.

Twitch pulls out of Korea, streamers rebel with explicit content(Twitch/AFP)
Twitch pulls out of Korea, streamers rebel with explicit content(Twitch/AFP)

The CEO of Twitch, Dan Clancy, explained that the decision was due to cost factors.

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What new community guidelines say

The new rules state that on-stream logos must be reduced to 3% of the screen size, and that no burned-in video, display or audio ads are allowed. The only things that are allowed on branded streams are channel page panel ads, product placement, links in chat, talking about/unboxing products, and playing sponsored games.

Streamers also have to show a new disclosure when their stream has branded content. If they do not follow this rule, they will face consequences for their account, including suspension.

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Streamers are calling for a boycott

MMO content creator, Asmongold, urged his fellow content creators on Twitter to either boycott Twitch or switch to other platforms, such as YouTube, Kick, or Rumble, arguing that Twitch’s advertisement restrictions hurt streamers’ income more than they help in the long term.

“I don’t say it lightly but I think this is a legitimate situation where streamers should consider boycotting Twitch or moving to other platforms,” he said. “Making common and harmless forms of advertisement literally against ToS so Twitch can monopolize more of streamers’ income.”

Streamer Nick De Cesare expressed his concerns for himself and his fellow streamers.

Another big name in Twitch, Pokimane, also left the platform due to Twitch's frequent and restricted guideline updates.

In response to this situation, many streamers decided to protest in a unique and defiant way - by streaming content that violated Twitch’s community guidelines, especially the one regarding sexual or ASMR content.

“To ensure content on Twitch is appropriate for diverse audiences,certain sexual content is prohibited, regardless of the medium used to create it (digital or non-digital). Users are prohibited from broadcasting, uploading, soliciting, offering, and linking to pornographic content,” Twitch Community Guidelines reads.

ALSO READ| Pokimane opens up about why she left Twitch: ‘I’m done with being emotionally invested’

Several Korean streamers deliberately streamed explicit content, such as Daeyoung2 playing hentai and adult games on his channel, Irin Jjang wearing a skimpy outfit, or Dabyeol Jeong's aheago content that would normally be banned.

StreamerBans, an X-based (formerly Twitter) tracker account that tracks Twitch Partners’ bans, revealed that many Korean accounts were suspended before Twitch was shut down, indicating the scale of the protest.

Although the Amazon-owned platform is no longer available in Korea, some users have found ways to access the site through VPNs or proxies, but they risk losing their accounts if they are caught. The protest, however, continues.

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