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Twitch blackout organizers look to continue movement

As the video game and esports world dealt with a rash of allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination in June, the calls for change have grown louder. Among the companies people have demanded changes from is Twitch, a streaming platform. As the number of allegations grew, Twitch streamers Delacroix, SirKatelyn and Tuecer Prime decided enough was enough.

“With everything going on with the sexual allegations against streamers and all this stuff, people were saying, ‘Twitch, do something,’” Delacroix said. “At the end of the day, we actually have the power over Twitch. Twitch is nothing without the content creators and the viewers. We wanted to see actual change. We wanted to make a statement. We wanted Twitch to feel something.”

The trio, along with Twitch streamer Third Artifact, began to discuss what they could do to help spark change. The idea of a Twitch blackout came up quickly on June 22.

“We had two competing thoughts,” Tuecer said. “One was we wanted to plan this out and get as many people as we can on board. The second was we want to do this as quick as we can so we’re striking while the iron is hot.”

They decided quick was better, and on June 24 they commenced with the blackout. What followed was a movement that saw support and criticism from the Twitch community.

“We wanted to make Twitch notice us,” SirKatelyn said. “That was the entire end goal. I think they did. We had news outlets and a lot of different channels debating whether it was good or not. The conversation was absolutely a million percent what it was about. It’s about bringing this to light and letting people know we’re not happy with people being treated unjustly or unequally.”

Looking ahead

Now nearly a month removed from the blackout, the trio has reflected on what went well and what they want to do differently going forward.

“The people who started going after people who weren’t doing it, that’s the part that made me upset,” Tuecer said. “You’re missing the point. There are people who agreed or disagreed that this was the right approach but let’s talk about doing something as opposed to endlessly debating.”

The trio isn’t done looking to hold Twitch accountable. While Twitch took steps in the wake of allegations against some of their streamers, including announcing a list of bans, the trio said there is still more work to be done.

“The next step is for Twitch to do something about the people who have been harassed,” Delacroix said.

The three streamers have begun talking about what is next for them, which includes another Twitch blackout. One of the biggest criticisms of the Twitch blackout was that it was rushed. This time, they are taking their time planning and reaching out to more streamers and how to make the movement more effective.

“We have to really focus and figure out what’s next for this movement,” SirKatelyn said. “There was a lot that wasn’t addressed. The goal is to make (Twitch) a safe and wonderful platform for everybody. There is no reading between the lines of everybody. Everyone who chooses to stream on Twitch should feel safe on their own stream.”

They are also hoping for participation from some of Twitch’s bigger personalities.

“I hope we do have some of the big hitters participate,” Delacroix said. “I promise you if someone big said I am participating in the blackout, others would listen.”

Ultimately, Delacroix hopes the movement shows other content creators on Twitch that they don’t have to accept things the way they are. They can spark change.

“I want to show Twitch that they need us,” Delacroix said. “We don’t need you. We can go anywhere else, but you need us more than you think. We are Twitch.”

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