Twitch, an online streaming platform owned by Amazon, is increasingly popular among children and young people whose hobby is video games.

What content does Twitch offer?

This application is best known for the online broadcast of playing video games. It works by the streamer, the person broadcasting the video, playing a video game, while millions of viewers watch, comment, and cheer on the player in a special chat, and reward them with money for their achievements. This platform is one of several that has created a new profession – Streamer – which allows people who seriously devote themselves to this job to earn up to several million dollars a year. Money is generated from views, sponsorships, a large number of followers, comments… However, as the number of users and streamers grows, there is an increasing need to create and stream different, special, more shocking content – to stand out in the sea of sameness and attract viewers upon whom their earnings depend. An organized stream, for example, followed by 5000 people, and if only half donate at least one dollar, brings the streamer at least $2500 per hour, as donations are often more than “just one dollar.”

What is “Twitch porn”?

In the desire to achieve greater viewership, streamers, and much more often female streamers, organize live broadcasts where they play video games in inappropriate clothing or from angles where viewers can see their intimate parts. Such streams are formally banned on Twitch, but they bring in a lot of money and views, are evidently present, and what’s worst – they are accessible to everyone, including children who are the most frequent users of the platform, without the children actively searching for such content.

Online Gambling

One of the most famous streamers, Tyler “Trainwreck” Nikram, broadcasted a video via Twitch at the beginning of the year, followed by more than 50,000 viewers, in which he transmitted online betting and gambling. At one point, after betting $1500, Tyler won $14 million in just 20 seconds. Tyler decided to share the won money with his followers, through organized giveaways, thus setting the wheel of gambling in motion and encouraging children (he is followed by more than 2 million people) to seriously consider online gambling and investing money in betting, and try their luck. When warned by the media, followers, and colleagues that he promotes a dangerous activity that can result in developing an addiction, this streamer apologized and admitted that casinos pay him $35,000 per hour to promote them. “Don’t gamble, you’ll lose. You’ll get into debt.” – Tyler stated. But did he convince the young not to try winning potential millions?

Promoting Dangerous and Inappropriate Behavior and Abuse

When a live broadcast, or stream, is followed by 10 thousand people, it is impossible to moderate the conversation (chat) between them. Messages pile up, and when insults occur – they are brutal and dangerous, considering that thousands of people can turn against someone. Besides insults and attacks through chats and private messages, there are also streamers who promote inappropriate behavior that includes abusing partners, aggressive behavior towards parents, and animal abuse. During the last year, one of the streamers, during the video broadcast, turned the camera in another direction, yelled at his partner for not bringing him a beer, and then hits were heard. During the same stream, he muted the sound so that viewers could not hear the insults and got in the face of his partner who was crying. Another case that came to public attention is when streamer Alinity threw her cat during a broadcast because it allegedly disturbed her while playing a video game. Besides her, there’s SleepyMia who has repeatedly stated that “sometimes dogs need to be beaten up” and it happened that during the stream, off-camera, she yelled at dogs and the video captured the whining of her two dogs.

Content Control, Not Complete Ban on App Use

The solution is not to ban the use of Twitch and scare parents, but to raise awareness about potential misuse. Every application and platform can be misused, so the emphasis is always on parental control. Monitor what your children are watching and who their role models are, and talk to your children about it. The better you are acquainted with your children’s online activities, the easier it will be to notice changes in their behavior and the possible connection of those changes with the people they follow and admire. Also, your child is more likely to confide in you if they encounter a problem in the online environment, knowing that you are familiar with the platforms they use.

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