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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