After thinking about this for a few months now, I have made up my mind. Despite all the friends I made and the fun I had1, I decided to boycott Twitch for good. I won’t be watching streams on Twitch at all, blocking the site entirely, and I definitely won’t stream on there again.
The reasons are actually quite simple: Twitch, owned by Amazon, is exploiting its users on multiple levels such as income, privacy, and a healthy life. It’s made to be addictive2, keeping you on it for as long as possible, making you spend money on some of your favourite streamers, while in reality, most of your money goes straight to Amazon, not the person you wanted it to go to.
After Twitch draws its users in, they want them to stay, so they incentivize
parasocial relationships, making a viewer think they’re doing so great giving
money to their favourite
friend streamer, when in reality it keeps a
significant percentage of the money spent. It recommends building a community
around the streamer, not so that the streamer has a community it can thrive
with, but so that Amazon makes more money.
Money is what drives Amazon, and thus, by extension, Twitch. It is yet another example of capitalism in its pure form: Exploiting others to benefit oneself. Bezos sure would like another unimaginable sum of money, so he will get it, even if it means that individuals with poor spending habits cheer as many bits and gift as many subs as they can, all while looking the other direction when yet another streamer gets swatted or is the target of another hate raid.
The best thing about this is: You don’t have a say in any of this. You are driving the income of this company that really couldn’t care any less about you. It doesn’t care if you’re healthy; it doesn’t care if you’re being stalked; it just cares about money. As long as the users stay and money flows their way, in their eyes, they’ve done everything right.
Twitch has struggled3 with how happy the streamers as well as the consumers
of the platform have been, with streamers being left alone on how to manage
their channel, but they also can’t really switch to an alternative because of
their community – not everyone will switch with the streamer, so they will make
But oh, the money they could make; this is all that’s in the mind of the Twitch operators.
It’s disgusting. I refuse to support something like this, and that is why I’m deleting my account and stop visiting the site for good.
If you’re someone that streams on Twitch but really doesn’t make any money off it, consider using an alternative platform. Find a Peertube instance, or get together with some friends and host your own.
Thank you to everyone that I was able to share great memories with. I’m not gone, I’m just elsewhere…
I’ve started watching Twitch streams in around 2013, 10 years ago, and eventually ended up streaming myself speedrunning and getting to know some great people through it. ↩︎
Most big sites do this (see YouTube, Twitter, etc.), but that doesn’t mean it’s right. ↩︎
struggled is a strong word, the reality is closer to slightly noticed. ↩︎