Matt Gaetz announces Twitch channel and sparks backlash
First Amazon-owned Twitch was ravaged by a major gambling scandal. Then he revealed a new revenue split that was worse for creators because they had to overcharge themselves for servers. Next Bloomberg reported that the platform has a major problem when it comes to potential predators using it to target children. And now Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is being investigated for human trafficking and allegedly had sex with a minor, has announced plans to use the platform. to spread his racist dog whistles. “Is it Friday again?” someone asked Twitch, probably.
As a platform owned by a monopoly logistics company known for crushing competitors and anti-union its workersand which is regularly scrutinized on how it handles instances of misogyny, racism, and other hateful behavior that occurs there, Twitch is no stranger to controversy.
But even in that context, this week has been particularly bad. The backlash over the game prompted it to hastily announce obscure new rules and somehow led to a streamer getting suspended for alleged sexual assault cover-up. Streamers also raised the hell over Twitch’s decision to pay them less money, with threats of boycott TwitchCon 2022 next month.
In the middle of it all Bloomberg reported that, according to a study shared with her as well as her own research, a total of 1,976 users had potentially targeted 279,016 children on Twitch over a two-year period. “Even a single instance of grooming is abhorrent to us,” said Twitch Product Manager Tom Verrilli. Bloomberg. “If valid, the data you refer to demonstrates that we are not yet providing the level of protection we seek, which is deeply upsetting. This work is vitally important to everyone at Twitch, and we will never stop.
How could things get worse for the social media platform that generated $2.6 billion in revenue last year? Enter Matt Gaetz.
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“I’m joining Twitch to bring my America First message to a new generation of viewers,” he said. announcement on Twitter on Thursday. “Twitch will join the range of platforms I live stream on, including Rumble, GETTRTwitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
The news falls less than a week later The Washington Post reported that Congressman de Florda has asked President Trump for a pardon regarding an ongoing sex trafficking investigation by the US Department of Justice. Giving information about this probe, The post office writing:
The Justice Department’s investigation into whether Gaetz paid for sex, paid for women to cross state lines to have sex, and had sex with a 17-year-old, was opened in the last months of the Trump administration with the approval of Attorney General William P. Barr. The investigation stems from a federal investigation into Gaetz’s friend who is now a convicted sex trafficker. Gaetz denied paying for sex or having sex with a minor as an adult.
Having sex with a 17-year-old is considered statutory rape in Florida. But Gaetz probably isn’t coming to Twitch to discuss it.
Instead, he’ll likely use the platform to peddle white replacement theorythe racist ideology evoked earlier this year by the Buffalo mass shootertalk about how women are too ugly to need abortionsCraft transphobic tweets, or spout other heinous nonsense to drag themselves into two more years in power. A Twitch spokesperson declined to comment on the filing, but directed Kotaku to his Community Rules and plans for fight misinformation and “driving out of order.”
The company banned streamers for less. We’ll see how long it takes this time.