In today’s “Ask The Outerhaven“, we answer the question of “Am I responsible for the behavior in my live streams”. We’ve seen it asked more than a few times, so we figured it was time we jumped in and helped provide a logical answer.
Let’s face it, most of us have been here before. We’re streaming a game, gaining some attention, and attracting viewers. The next you know it, people are chatting it up, having a good time and then it happens. Someone drops the Hard “R” or some other racist comment or starts cussing like a sailor. Before you know it, the smiles turn to frowns, someone gets upset and then it happens. Someone reports you. You’re not thrilled about it and now you want to know if you are responsible for what happens in your streams.
The hard answer to this question is yes. However, the answer is clear cut as you’d think it would be. So let us break it down and explain to you how this can go down on both Twitch and Mixer. We’re not going to focus on YouTube as you can easily disable chats for live streams on the platform. Something you can’t do for the other two.
What does Twitch say about this?
So let’s start with Twitch, as it’s the larger platform. Sometime last year, Twitch made it known that the streamer was responsible for what goes on in their stream. Now, they’re not going to outright ban you if a few bad apples start causing trouble. At least not at the start. However, as the owner of the channel where the drama is going down, it’s your job to stop it. By allowing it to continue, you are setting a bad expectation.
Creators are role models and leaders of the communities they create or foster around them. Creators should consider the consequences of their statements and actions of their audiences; we ask that you make a good faith effort to quell any efforts from those in your community to harass others.
Twitch should not be used to incite, encourage, promote, facilitate, or organize hateful conduct or harassment, whether on or off Twitch. We will suspend communities, organizations, and individuals that do so.
Meaning, if you see smoke then you better put out that fire. Otherwise, Twitch is more than likely going to shut down your channel. That is unless you’re a large personality on the platform, to which you’ll likely get a slap on the wrist. You can read on Twitch’s Community Guidelines.
What about Mixer?
While Microsoft’s streaming platform, Mixer, is still in its infancy, the service is firm as what a streamer is expected of. They go into great detail as to what isn’t allowed by both the streamer, and viewers. This includes threatening someone, harassment, using inappropriate images, hate speech, and more. Failure to keep the community inline can/will be handled by either a suspension, a warning, a global time out where you can still stream but chatting isn’t allowed, or a global ban which means your channel is done.
Let’s circle back, shall we? It looks like both platforms are serious about you, the streamer, responsible for what happens in your channel. Either by those who are chatting or even those who you’re streaming with. This means you’re going to have to stay on your toes and address any potential concerns before someone either reports it or the platforms themselves observe it. I can’t stress this enough, and I understand that this can take away from doing what you set out to do. It’s a “stuck between a rock and a hard place” for sure, but it’s something that needs to be done. If you let toxic behavior go unchecked, it will only get worse.
I know this likely has upset more than a few people, but these guidelines are in place to protect both you, the viewers, and the platform. Regardless of what Twitch would have you think, especially with their lack of enforcement for the better portion of 2019.