In a lengthy blog post that appears to have been crafted by a lawyer, Twitch’s CEO Emmett Shear issued a statement clarifying the role of their Safety Advisory Council and defended newly appointed member FerociouslySteph.
The blog post comes after FerociouslySteph detailed that she would use her new found powers on the Council to target people she deems “shitty” people, stated that she believes “a lot of gamers are white supremacists,” and claimed that voice chat is part of systemic misogyny.
The post begins by attempting to clarify the role of the Twitch Safety Advisory Council.
In their original announcement on May 14th they declared the council would “inform and guide decisions made at Twitch.” They went on to list a number of activities that they would advise on:
- Drafting new policies and policy updates
- Developing products and features to improve safety and moderation
- Promoting healthy streaming and work-life balance habits
- Protecting the interests of marginalized groups
- Identifying emerging trends that could impact the Twitch experience
Now, they are claiming that “the role of the council is to advise, offer perspective, and participate in discussions with our internal teams pertaining to the work we do to help keep our community safe and healthy.”
It specifically notes that “council members will not make moderation decisions, nor will they have access to any details on specific moderation cases.” That doesn’t really make any sense. How are they supposed to help develop “products and features to improve safety and moderation” if they don’t have access to details on specific moderation cases.
How are they supposed to draft new policies and policy updates without seeing what exactly Twitch is doing?
Maybe even more interesting is that the blog post attempts to put distance between the members on the council and Twitch. However, like their claim about moderation, it doesn’t really make any sense.
The post reads, “They are not Twitch employees, and they do not speak on Twitch’s behalf.”
It continues, “While we value their opinions and their right to share them, they are independent actors who will have opinions that aren’t shared either by Twitch, Twitch employees, or even by other members of the council.”
However, Twitch chose them and appointed them to a council titled Twitch Safety Advisory Council. And while they might not be labelled as employees it sure sounds like they are doing the work of employees if they are supposed to be involved in the process of creating products and drafting policies.
The blog post then tries to excuse FerociouslySteph’s comments by claiming she was harassed. While it doesn’t specifically mention FerociouslySteph, it’s quite obvious who they are referring to.
It reads, “Harassment directed at council members or anyone at or on Twitch only underscores the importance of the council. We do not condone bullying or harassment of any kind and will continue to take action against accounts who engage in that behavior.”
If this statement had an inkling of truth to it, FerociouslySteph would have been removed from the Twitch Safety Advisory Council for threatening to target individuals she deemed “shitty” and then stating that she believes “a lot of gamers are white supremacists.”
The post then has the gall to continue, “At the heart of the Safety Advisory Council and all of our work at Twitch is the desire to foster a safe, inclusive, and creative community of passionate people.”
Is that why they openly chose someone who thinks “a lot of gamers are white supremacists?” Or someone who is threatening people with her position on the Council? That doesn’t sound like a “safe, inclusive, and creative community.” It sounds like the exact opposite, one where people are targeted by the whims of a person who claims they are a deer. A deer that believes “a lot of gamers are white supremacists.”
Twitch can spin this any way they want, but the truth of the matter is they have chosen to not only prop up a hateful bigot, but actively stand behind them.
Twitch has made it clear where they stand, and it is against gamers.