Twitch’s Hot Tub Stream Controversy Explained
Debate arose in the Twitch community recently over the grey areas in the site’s ToS. An influx of female streamers are using the “Just Chatting” tag to stream themselves from a hot tub. One tweet from a user brought both defenders and opposers of the streams online to discuss whether hot tub streams belong on Twitch.
The Controversy Begins
The discussion began with a single question asked by Twitch streamer MsBananas. She posted on Twitter asking about the influx of suggestive content under the “Just Chatting” tag on the website. “Went on Twitch and seriously got confused as to what app I was actually on….” she states, showcasing four images of seemingly suggestive content, two of which showcase women in bikinis in a hot tub.
Her statement caused an uproar from both sides of the argument, with people agreeing and disagreeing with her statement. While some have told her to move on from the situation, many have accused MsBananas of being a misogynist. One Twitter user quote tweeted her tweet saying: “Just say u h8 women & go.”
While the consensus from women on Twitter is that the streamers MsBananas called out are “Doing nothing wrong,” some on the other side of the argument claim that the existence of the streams in question is sidestepping the vague grey areas of Twitch’s ToS.
The debate stems from the principle of the Twitch site. While Twitch is regarded as a video game-centric platform, it seems that the website’s evolution has brought upon all sorts of online content, making it less about what originally was intended. With the introduction of the “IRL” and “Just Chatting” tags on Twitch, it appears to be that Twitch has become a hodgepodge of online content.
This is where the concern for the platform begins, according to those who agree with MsBananas statement. Twitch is a platform meant specifically for live streaming games. While tags like “Just Chatting” and “IRL” have their merits, such as Robcdee, an Australian streamer known for lending a helping hand to people in need while streaming on the streets of Japan.
Many bring up that the influx of seemingly suggestive content. The lack of any concrete rules from Twitch and their supposed double standard of enforcement is the reason why streams such as hot tub streams is such a bad idea.
Twitch’s Supposed Double Standard
Those who mention Twitch’s double standard bring up the three-day ban of professional Smash Bros. Player Mang0, who was suspended from Twitch for “sexual content,” the clip in question, features Mang0 imitating a sexual act on a figurine, which he then discards onto the floor. This clip, most likely meant as a joke with both Mang0 and the other person on stream with him laughing about it, caused him to get banned for three days.
While seemingly raunchy for a joke, nothing about the clip appears to be breaking the Twitch ToS. And many were quick to voice their disappointment in Twitch for Mang0’s ban, if only for three days. They are comparing that clip to some of the hot tub streams. Many have proposed that Twitch is safeguarding suggestive female streamers, as the monetary gain is beneficial to the website. Part of the Twitch community believes that while Mang0 is banned for something such as a raunchy joke, women who wear bikinis and stream from inside a hot tub or, in the case of MsBananas tweet, are streaming while spinning on a pole, should be held to the same ToS standards.
Many turned to Twitch for their opinion, asking for a concrete answer to the ToS. Twitch has yet to respond.