Why was Amouranth banned?
Over the weekend, the service banned two top female streamers — Amouranth and Indiefoxx — who had been broadcasting ASMR streams from their beds. ... As usual, Twitch declined to explain why either streamer was banned. But the reason seems to be a breach of Twitch's restrictions on “sexually suggestive” content. The VergeTwitch bans two top creators in struggle with sexually suggestive streams
For example, the big news this week has been the temporary suspensions of streamers Amouranth and Indiefoxx. The former coincided with a viral clip of Amouranth slurping a mic while neighing in a horse mask and the latter happened after Indiefoxx performed yoga poses while licking a fake human ear and speaking softly. Just your average internet hijinks from stars pushing the envelope of livestream performance.
But the suspensions and the bizarre context surrounding helped cement both streamers rank at the top of Streamerbans unofficial leaderboard for site visits. The site shared the following list of its top 10 most-frequented “Are they banned?” pages with Kotaku:
Indiefoxx and Amourath are both ahead of Alinity who was banned for 24 hours back in April of last year after briefly exposing her nipple while trying to tuck a pillow under her shirt, and even DrDisrespect who has been suspended from Twitch since the start of last summer for reasons which the platform still hasn’t publicly disclosed.
Streamerbans also tracks the total number of bans at any given time. Weirdly, April 27, 2021 was apparently set the record for the most Twitch bans in a single day. “As to why there are so many suspensions on April 27th, we really have no clue,” a representative of the site told Kotaku. “We’ve had a few bigger waves of suspensions that are related to DMCA claims (during live-events), but that was apparently not the case there.”
Late April was around when the discourse over Twitch’s hot tub meta reached a fever pitch, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear connection between that or any other event for the particular ban toll on that day. Maybe Twitch’s moderators were just itching to to flex their banhammer muscles, or perhaps the ebb and flow of streaming bans are, like the rest of life, occasionally capricious and often impossible to predict.
It’s that whole combination of things that brought down the ban hammer. Like someone else already commented, I don’t really give a shit, get that money girl, who cares. But as far as Twitch’s “rules” go, when you’re making your ass the main focus of the camera, and at the same time literally making out with the mic, it’s tough to argue that it’s just “sexy” and not “sexual.”
Read full article at GameRant
XQc reacts to ASMR meta streamers receiving 3-day suspensions: 'That makes no f****** sense at all' | Dot Esports
22 June, 2021 - 09:34pm
“Dude, same offense five times in three months, and a three-day?"
After finding out that Twitch had banned streamers Amoranth and Indifoxx for only three days for their involvement in the ASMR meta, fellow streamer xQc expressed his frustration on stream.
When reacting to a post regarding the pairs unbanning on his stream xQc explained that the issue stemmed not from the streamers themselves, but instead from the moderation staff at Twitch.
“Dude, same offense five times in three months, and a three-day [ban]?” xQc said. “After repeating the same offense two times, I thought I was going to get perma’d. Honestly, I had the word perma over my head for months for something I did like eight months ago and after five times, they get a three-day? That makes no fucking sense at all.”
XQc hasn’t been the only streamer to echo that sentiment. Earlier today, Alinity shared her thoughts on the situation and explained that even with her experience of accidentally violating the sexual content policy, three days isn’t enough to make any change.
Regarding sexual content on Twitch and why I don't think it will stop: pic.twitter.com/mmkSqgMw8q
Alinity also raised the point that three violations for breaking the platform’s DMCA policy will result in permanent suspension, but breaking other rules, including the sexual content policy, doesn’t result in the same punishment.
As of right now, Twitch has not addressed the ASMR meta or these recent bans directly. The platform does seem to have taken a stance against the content as it was relatively quick to act and suspend two popular creators.
22 June, 2021 - 05:09pm
The most popular female Twitch streamer, Pokimane has expressed her opinion towards the rise in ASMR streams following Twitch cracking down on the “Hot Tub” meta.
The “Hot Tub” meta showed how Twitch’s inconclusive guidelines can be exploited, generating an outpour of backlash from the community over the rise of the likes of Amouranth and Indiefoxx which was not appreciated by other streamers on the platform until Twitch cracked down on them.
ASMR streams looked to have benefitted from it and “Hot Tub” steamers were quick to jump ship before hitting a major roadblock when Amouranth and Indiefoxx were banned for sexualizing their streams.
“I feel really bad for legitimate ASMR artists,” “For people to come into your category and get to the top by doing the splits with their butt out and gurgling into a mic? It sucks, it’s unfortunate.”
“I really hope it doesn’t get to that point with Twitch, if similar events unfold on Twitch, many top creators could be hopped into a category of mature content and lose out on ad revenue, regardless of their participation in these controversial metas.”
Pokimane had strong opinions against the “Hot Tub” meta during its rise and it stands firm when streams choose to sexualize ASMR streams for views which translates to ad revenue. ASMR streams are a double-edged sword given how every streamer carries the risk of running into a fate similar to that of Amouranth and have their ad revenue reduced to an insignificant amount.
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22 June, 2021 - 12:39pm
The ASMR controversy on Twitch comes following the hot tub meta that occurred during April and May of this year. Hot tub streams were largely made popular by Indiefoxx and Amouranth, who soared past Pokimane for top female streamer on the site due to the controversial content. But after Twitch launched the Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches category, a new meta began, this time taking over the ASMR category. Again led by Indiefoxx and Amouranth, it often consists of ear-licking ain sexual poses in return for subs, but the two female content creators often do it in yoga pants, sprawled out on a bed, resulting in a three-day ban for both of them.
While neither Indiefoxx and Amouranth were the first to perform ear-licking ASMR streams, they have each been banned on Twitch multiple times for infringing upon its rules on sexual content. Though many others are currently using the ASMR category to promote their own sexualized ASMR, the key reason for Amouranth and Indiefoxx's bans seems to be that they did it with their butts as the main focus, a direct violation listed in Twitch's Terms of Service.
It's unclear if the two streamers will make any changes to their content going forward. World of Warcraft streamer Asmongold was one of the many top content creators to comment on their situation, claiming that they were only given a slap on the wrist. He believes Twitch won't take further action or permanently ban them, possibly because the platform benefits from the ad revenue. Both Indiefoxx and Amouranth have already started streaming on Twitch again, making jokes about the new meta.
Twitch is, once again, silent on the situation aside from the short bans. As Pokimane explained, Twitch is avoiding addressing the root cause of the streams, which she claims to be its ambiguous guidelines. The Amazon-owned platform has declined comments from multiple news outlets looking for clarification and instead sends its blogpost on hot tub streams, which states that it will not reprimand female streamers for others finding their bodies attractive.
Though many were happy to see Twitch take action against streamers violating its Terms of Service, it doesn't look like the platform will take more drastic action against the ASMR yogas streamers anytime soon.
22 June, 2021 - 11:21am
Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys has shared her take on the recent ASMR meta and the Hot Tub meta before it. As you may know, Pokimane used to make ASMR videos and did participate in the Hot Tub meta, but not in the NSFW form the trend was known for. During the latter, Pokimane took umbrage not with those fueling the trend, but Twitch for its initial reaction. Eventually, Twitch effectively killed off the stream type, but it looks like the fix was nothing more than a bandaid. A few weeks later, the same streamers pushing the Hot Tub meta birthed the ASMR meta, which proved to be even more sexual, more at odds with the platform's rules, and more controversial.
Last week, Twitch began to take action against the new ASMR meta by dealing out temporary bannings to Amouranth, Indiefoxx, and more. However, it looks unlikely this will completely solve the problem. Meanwhile, Twitch and its biggest content creators now find themselves with a potentially huge advertising problem, similar to the one YouTube and its creators suffered a few years ago over mature, and sometimes controversial, content that advertisers didn't want to associate with.
Speaking about all of this, Pokimane pointed out that she called that this would happen, and to be fair to the streamer, she did, as did many others.
"I did call it," said Pokimane during a recent Twitch stream. "When we talked about the Hot Tub meta, I said listen, Twitch, it doesn't matter if you make a new section for this (which is ultimately what Twitch did) or ban these individual people, or if you ban hot tub streams indoors, they are going to find another way to push the envelope."
"They basically implemented a bandaid fix rather than treat the root cause. It's not about the symptom. It's about the root cause, which is your terms of service and lack of content organization and labeling... on YouTube you had the 'adpocalypse' because of this, and I really hope it doesn't get to that point with Twitch, because if it does, we might end up on in a situation where a lot of your favorite streamers are labeled as 'mature content' just because they are older or discuss things that are meant for adults, but that aren't sexually suggestive."
For now, it remains to be seen what will come of all this. At the moment of publishing, Twitch is keeping quiet and moving slowly, as it often does.
For more coverage on Twitch, Pokimane, and all things gaming -- including all of the latest news, rumors, and leaks -- click here. As always, feel free to leave a comment or two letting us know what you think or, alternatively, hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know over there. Do you agree with Pokimane? Is Twitch heading towards disaster?
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22 June, 2021 - 09:00am
When it was hot tubs, I was very clear in my opinion - we all needed to shut up. Conversation around the hot tubs quickly turned toxic, and it didn’t feel like anyone had anything constructive (read: not sexist) to say. I had issues with the hot tubs and what they meant for Twitch’s direction in general, but when the discourse never rose above “these thots don’t play games,” I had no interest in engaging with it beyond telling people to shut up.
With the fart meta, it’s different. Here’s a quick catch-up on what it’s all about. The hot tub meta was fairly simple - it was people (usually women) in hot tubs. Aside from that, most of the streaming was fairly straightforward. Thanks to the water, gaming didn’t usually happen, but there were a lot of Just Chatting streams, which included, you know, just chatting, as well as make up, tarot cards, and similar harmless things. There were a few weird ones, and I’ll get to them, but for the most part it was regular content except in a hot tub, because the algorithm wanted hot tubs, and when you’re a streamer, sometimes you have to listen to the algorithm.
It’s strange to think that we live in a world where farting is more sexual than hot tubs, but undoubtedly, we do. Fart videos outnumber hot tub videos on a certain popular adult site by a six to one ratio (Ed: how do you know this, Stacey?). Twitch previously said that being thought of as sexy was not against the rules when it legitimised hot tub streaming with its own category, but this is something different entirely.
I mentioned earlier that there was some weird behaviour during the hot tub streams. I addressed that once the hot tub category was created, but it’s worth repeating. As well as the pretty harmless fun of the streams, some creators would write the names of viewers on their semi-naked body in exchange for donations, and while watching someone chill and talk tarot in a hot tub is a little strange, no one is getting hurt. But when women are offering to write the names of their anonymous viewers - many of whom could be minors still understanding the sexuality of the world - on their bodies, it becomes more insidious. Of course, from the games streamed to the chat, there is lots of content on Twitch that minors should not be involved in, but at least those things - in theory, at least - can be moderated against. Twitch is totally unprepared for this new direction.
This is where Amouranth and IndieFoxx’s bastardisation of the ASMR tag comes into play. Even when their behaviour is not overtly sexual, their content in these streams is clearly designed for sexual gratification - Amouranth even used the ban to promote her OnlyFans page on Twitter, while IndieFoxx advertises hers in her Twitter name and pinned Tweet, and used the ban to flirt with Amouranth. We can have the debate over whether sex work is real work another time (it is - debate over), but what we really need to be looking at is how it is encroaching on Twitch. Twitch is the most popular streaming platform in the world, and has strict rules over explicitly sexualised content, but many streamers are finding loopholes - either getting away with ‘not quite sexual enough’ content or using the sexualised controversies on Twitch to promote their OnlyFans pages. Twitch is incredibly popular with minors, is completely unprepared for moderating sex work adjacent content, and is clearly not the place for content like this, however legitimate that content might be on other sites.
It’s also incredibly damaging to legitimate streamers - this is not the sort of content the ASMR category typically produces, and with many on Twitch already seeing the platform as for gamers and no one else, Amouranth and IndieFoxx aren’t helping the cause. It’s not only ASMR streamers that are affected either - it’s anyone, but particularly anyone from a minority group who produces any kind of content or art that is not strictly gaming-based, who are more likely to be taunted and harassed while these pseudo-sexual metas continue to dominate headlines.
As well as the rise in sexual content, these bans also reveal yet again the toxic attitudes of many others on Twitch. xQc, the 12th most popular streamer in the world, has repeatedly called out the hot tub streams and the fart meta, but it’s the way he does it - especially with regards to the hot tub streams - that makes Twitch so uncomfortable for many in the first place. Those getting trolled in the wake of this aren’t being helped by xQc, they’re being hurt - his attitude makes it acceptable for viewers to gatekeep and verbally attack any streamers they don’t care for, which primarily tend to be women. If you’re also a woman who does not use Twitch to game, the vitriol you get is likely worse. This is xQc, banned from the Overwatch League for homophobia, one of 0.006 percent of players in history to be permanently banned from League of Legends for toxicity, and a man who has been banned three times by Twitch previously for showing explicit content on screen.