Twitch Marketing Promo Over Golden Emoji Goes Horribly Wrong After DMCA Nuclear Strike

from the not-the-time dept

Mere days ago, we discussed the bonkers path Twitch chose for itself in dealing with a flood of DMCA takedowns issued by the RIAA. The whole episode screamed of panic. Rather than dealing with DMCA takedowns via the normal method — taking down the content, providing the content maker with a path for a counternotice, and then putting the content back if no lawsuit was filed — , Twitch, instead, took the extraordinary action of simply and permanently nuking the videos in question. It then, rather brazenly, informed the content maker it had done so and advised them to “learn about copyright law.” In fact, given its actions, there is some question as to whether or not this is all enough to have lost Twitch its safe harbor protections.

Regardless, it would be an understatement to suggest that this pissed off the Twitch community. The public backlash was both swift and severe, with content producers openly wondering if it was time to march off to a different platform entirely. Well, the very next day, Twitch began teasing a new offering coming in November and promoted this tease by releasing a sought after emote to all Twitch users.

Yesterday, Twitch took to teasing something that’s happening on November 14 (likely a digital convention called GlitchCon), as though everything is right as rain and not a corporate-friendly garbage fire. Twitch tweeted out a video that said “There’s a place where all Kappas are golden” and then temporarily turned all Kappa emotes gold.

For perhaps as long as Twitch has existed, there has been a myth: On exceedingly rare occasions, if the stars align perfectly, the ever-popular “Kappa” chat emote will turn gold. Some have suggested that a single Twitch user receives golden Kappa abilities every 24 hours. Others believe you have to fulfill highly specific prerequisites in order to unlock it. Yesterday, out of the blue, Twitch gave it to everybody. Twitch streamers and viewers, in turn, did not give a shit, because they were too busy recovering from the DMCApocalypse.

It was actually worse than streamers and users not giving a shit. This fully angered people, given Twitch’s actions merely hours earlier. Streamers ran to Twitter and elsewhere to congratulate Twitch on its completely tone-deaf attempt to win over users with an emote, while others noted that Twitch had some serious communicating to do with the community and “shiny emotes” ought not have been on the agenda. Others once again wondered allowed if Twitch was the right platform on which to stream.

“Twitch gets slammed by the music industry, meanwhile they changed all the Kappas to gold, maybe in the hopes we all forget about how terribly the company has been running,” said Rocket League pro Lethamyr. “I think it’s nearly time to stream live on YouTube.”

And its not as though Twitch’s extreme actions have even gotten the RIAA and its comrades off of the platform’s back. Instead, various industry groups released a letter still complaining that Twitch wasn’t doing enough on the copyright front and was mismanaging its Soundtrack by Twitch feature, which is supposed to help streamers use authorized music.

In other words, in a world where Twitch was presented with the choice of siding with its own content creators and users, or the copyright industry associations, it took the bold step of managing to piss off everyone instead. That it thought that golden emojis would somehow either stave off criticism of the platform, or at least be received without this resulting anger, seems to indicate that there are some very out of touch folks running this company at the moment.

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Filed Under: copyright, dmca, golden emoji, marketing stunts
Companies: twitch

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| Psychiatrist Uses Gamers’ Livestream Twitch Platform to Discuss Mental Health IssuesTalking About Men’s Health™

Depression, Suicide

Psychiatrist Uses Gamers’ Livestream Twitch Platform to Discuss Mental Health Issues

Alok Konojia – “Dr. K” to his 370,000 Twitch fans – is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist who’s reaching gamers on the livestreaming platform Twitch to talk about mental health issues and lessen the stigma attached to them.

His livestream, Healthy Gamer GG, discusses online harassment, depression, suicide, video game addiction and other mental health issues with both followers and other Twitch livestreamers. Konojia also broadcasts on YouTube.

Why concentrate on gamers? A Pew Research Center study found that a more than a third of men ages 18-29 said “gamer” described them well. Young adults are particularly likely to play video games, as well as to identify as “gamers.” Two-thirds (67 percent) of those ages 18 to 29 say they play video games.

Reaching those adolescent and young adult men on mental health issues is crucial. Men’s Health Network sponsored “Behavioral Health Aspects of Depression and Anxiety in the American Male,” a November 2019 conference. Among the conference’s findings: boys and men will withdraw and become more isolated and less communicative in the face of behavioral and mental health issues. In addition, they will begin to change their behavior, turning to excessive drinking, sexual excesses, gambling or spending hours on their computers. The conference was funded in part by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Based in Houston, Texas, Konojia and his wife, Kruti, founded Healthy Gamer last fall, with the aim to pay and train a network of coaches who can offer non-medical advice on a variety of issues, including video game addiction and motivation. The training includes two weeks of hands-on learning with Kanojia, followed by up to ten weeks with other senior coaches. The company has eight coaches on board now, with 22 more due to complete training in September.

Working with peers can help people improve their mental health care, a study conducted in southern California showed. Funded by PCORI), the study showed that peer-to-peer interventions was effective, with patients making additional improvements in self-management behaviors.



Robin Mather is a third-generation journalist with more than 40 years’ experience working at major daily newspapers and national magazines. A Michigan native, she now lives in Arizona

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Donald Trump suspended from Twitch as Reddit shuts down supporters’ forum | US News

Donald Trump has been suspended from livestreaming platform Twitch for “hateful conduct” and Reddit has shut down a forum for the president’s supporters.

Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, said it had temporarily banned the president’s channel because it violated its hateful conduct policy.

“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch,” a spokeswoman said.

“In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed.”

Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman (L) said the Trump supporters’ page violated its policy of not promoting hate

She said one of the streams was a rebroadcast of a 2016 Trump rally in which the president said Mexico was sending rapists to the United States.

Discussion website Reddit said it had shut down r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse forums run by the president’s supporters, as it announced an overhaul of its content policies.

Its new content policy said communities and users that promoted hate based on identity or vulnerability would be banned.

Reddit said it was banning about 2,000 subreddits – discussions dedicated to specific topics – most of which are inactive.

“All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith,” chief executive Steve Huffman said in a post on the site on Monday.

“We banned r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity.

“Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to support our communities by taking stronger action against those who try to weaponise parts of Reddit against other people.”

Reddit had previously placed r/The_Donald behind an extra page that required users to click through – a restriction it called a “quarantine”.

But, the company said the subreddit moderators still “have refused to meet our most basic expectations”.

The Trump campaign embraced Reddit avidly ahead of the 2016 election when it became a hub for conspiracy theories.

Mr Trump conducted an “Ask Me Anything” session on the platform in the run-up to the election.

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The bans by Twitch and Reddit are just the latest in an ongoing feud between the president and social media companies.

Twitter placed fact-check notices on the president’s tweets last month, leading to the president issuing an executive order asking federal regulators to revisit the 1996 law that protects websites from liability for what their users post.

Two weeks ago, Facebook removed some of the president’s re-election campaign advertisements for featuring an inverted red triangle with a black border – a symbol used by the Nazis during the Second World War.

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Facebook reveals Gaming app to rival Twitch and YouTube

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The Facebook Gaming app provides access to gaming streams, but none of Facebook’s other content

Facebook has launched a dedicated gaming app earlier than planned, in its latest attempt to grow its presence in the online gaming world.

Facebook said the “accelerated” launch was a direct response to the Covid-19 lockdown.

The app lets users follow high-profile gamers, watch live gaming streams and leave comments without interacting with the rest of Facebook.

It also lets gamers broadcast their own smartphone screen.

While Facebook remains the largest social network on the planet, it has struggled to compete against dominant players Twitch and YouTube when it comes to games streaming and esports.

Competition in the space is heating up, with Microsoft’s Mixer and YouTube funding players and franchises in recent months.

Gaming only

Until now, Facebook’s gaming brand been accessible as a tab inside the main Facebook app, and as an independent website.

The company said the stand-alone app was “a focused, gaming-only experience for people who want deeper access”.

The app, which has been tested in Asia and Latin America for about a year and a half, launched on the Google Play app store on Monday. A version for Apple’s iOS is still to follow.

In common with rival apps, users can follow streamers and comment on live gameplay, and also interact with Facebook groups about individual games.

But Facebook’s app also lets people play games from the company’s “instant games” library from a tab inside the app, without installing the software separately.

Another feature is the ability to “go live” from the app and broadcast the smartphone’s display on Facebook.

The feature lets mobile gameplay be streamed directly without any extra equipment. YouTube has a similar feature available to channels with more than 1,000 subscribers.

Bringing all those functions together “helps it differentiate from other live streaming-only apps,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, Research Director for games at Ampere Analysis.

“Facebook’s approach is to democratise the streaming process, meaning any user can go live with a stream very easily.”

The approach may provide it with some advantages in markets where mobile gaming is much bigger – such as China and south-east Asia – he said.

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The app lets people follow their favourite streamers or play Facebook games

Facebook says it had five million installations of the app during the 18-month test run in limited markets, and that more than 700 million people already interacted with its gaming products.

“The Facebook Gaming app is a prime example of gaming’s resurgence at Facebook over the last few years, and we’re just getting started,” said Vivek Sharma, vice president of Facebook Gaming.

But Mr Harding-Rolls warned that a dedicated app strategy “has its pros and cons”.

“It allows Facebook to position its offering against other live-streaming sites focused on games and helps drive visibility of games content on Facebook, but it requires users to download a dedicated app, which is likely to hamper adoption,” he said.

“But it is also a user-acquisition funnel for consumers that might not be interested in the Facebook app, including young consumers,” he said.

Game-streaming viewership is estimated to have increased during the coronavirus lockdown period by at least 10%. But competition in the space had already increased before the virus emerged.

In August last year, Microsoft secured an exclusive deal with the world’s most-followed streamer, Ninja, resulting in him leaving Twitch.

In January, YouTube purchased the rights to the Overwatch League and Call of Duty esports tournaments.

Facebook has also made another recent bid for gamers’ attention with the release of a gaming tournaments feature earlier this month, designed to let amateurs more easily organise their own esports competitions.

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