Twitch’s flaws gets creators banned

Twitch bans streamers due to bad copyright rules



Twitch bans of multiple creators sheds light on their flawed copyright laws.

Twitch is a central streaming platform that allows thousands of creators to make a living by creating content for millions to watch. But, like with any media platform, there are some rules about what is acceptable. The laws of copyright are one of the biggest known on any website. Twitch, however, has fragile, poorly enforced regulations, which has caused many streamers to go under the radar while others get banned. A recent banning of a couple of significant streamers has brought this to the forefront of the public’s attention. These issues have been something that could cause many streamers’ livelihoods to be put at risk because Twitch had randomly enforced the rules upon them.
Twitch’s algorithm works slightly differently than other media platforms. While platforms like YouTube reward creators based on each video’s watch time, Twitch is purely based on the number of hours streamed. Tens of hours streamed cause the algorithm to push your videos into the discover page. So one of the ways to get many views and subs is to follow “metas.” A Twitch Meta is a trending subject that can last for long streams and attract many viewers. The most recent meta is the TV Meta. This trend is where the streamer reacts to episodes of a popular tv show—shows ranging from Avatar The Last Airbender to Master Chef. This new Meta is the cause for the bans and the awareness of these lackluster rules.

Popular Youtuber and Twitch streamer Disguised Toast (@disguisedtoast on Instagram)
Popular Youtuber and Twitch streamer Pokimane (@pokimanelol on Instagram)

These issues were brought to the eye of the public when prominent streamers Pokimaine and Disguised Toast got temporarily banned from the platform. After streaming multiple hours of different shows, they had gotten banned due to copyright violations. While this is not typically a bad thing, the issue isn’t the rule but how Twitch enforces it. Unfortunately, Twitch is extremely lax with the enforcement of copyright laws. The biggest reason for this is that hundreds of live streams are constantly going on simultaneously. So it cannot be accessible for the companies to find all the copyright violations. Twitch doesn’t help with this issue by relying on the companies to find the problems.
To compare this process to YouTube, which scans all videos against a music database to ensure no copyright violation. Twitch, however, does not have any program to do that. So instead, Twitch forces companies to comb through thousands of hours of streams to ensure no streamer is violating their copyrights. Sifting through vods for copyright won’t quite work either since Twitch periodically deletes them. Not to mention streamers can choose not to have any vods saved. Twitch is aware of this and is advising creators to do this to avoid claims. In a previous widespread ban, Twitch wrote to many of their creators, “Based on the number of claims, we believe these rights holders used automated tools to scan and identify copyrighted music creators vods and clips. If you know you have unauthorized music or other copyrighted material in your past vods or clips, we strongly recommend that you permanently delete anything that contains that material.” Twitch makes it seem through the writing of their statements that they are informing creators how to use loopholes in copyright infringement, which is highly irresponsible.
Twitch has put itself into a sticky situation regarding its own copyright rules. While the creators who were streaming are in the wrong for streaming copyrighted material in the first place, Twitch is also in the wrong for the enforcement of its own rules. Twitch needs to step it up and be better at regulating copyright infringements, or else they run into some legal issues and financial down the line.