#Twitchblackout is trending today as streamers across the world ask people to avoid the site for a day.
They’re calling for a blackout because they think the streaming site can do more to recognise victims of sexual and racial abuse.
Dozens of women have recently claimed they have been sexually assaulted by people in the gaming industry.
Twitch says it takes accusations of sexual harassment seriously.
Streamers are arguing Twitch has not acted quickly enough when there have been sexual assault claims made against some of its content creators.
Some also think the site has been too lenient when others have been accused of using racist or homophobic language.
Encouraging people to stay off the platform for a day could deprive Twitch of viewers and income.
Those supporting the blackout think it will lead to Twitch taking these issues more seriously as they feel like the site has not talked to them enough about their concerns.
After many claims of sexual harassment in the gaming industry were reported, Twitch posted to say it was actively looking into cases linked to their affiliated streamers.
It also praised the bravery of the women who spoke out.
Stephanie Ijoma is a streamer who also founded NNESAGA – a UK gaming platform that helps promote diverse voices.
“Me being a black woman especially, I’ve never felt safe in such a toxic environment. We’re supposed to be playing and connecting with others and we can’t do that if the space that we’re in isn’t well protected.”
“Twitch is the biggest platform for gamers to express themselves, showcase their talents and connect with their community. How can we do that on a platform when it’s not looking out for us? When there is so much sexism going on, racism, abuse and sexual harassment?”
She believes the blackout has got the attention of Twitch bosses.
“They need to hire more diverse people to help bring down the discrimination, the bottom line is we need to trust Twitch again.”
The CEO of the company Emmet Shear sent an internal email saying he’s looking at banning accounts based on their historical behaviour.
He also said he wants Twitch to become the safest place for people to create content on the internet.
The calls for a blackout haven’t been universally supported.
Some content creators are arguing not streaming for a day is counterproductive.
They say it’s an opportunity lost to discuss issues of harassment, consent and racism with their communities.
Some content creators have contacted Newsbeat to say they’re worried the campaign was rushed and as a result many streamers are carrying on as normal today.
For many of those following the blackout, the hope is this is the beginning of a much wider discussion about people’s behaviour on Twitch and in the gaming industry.
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