Twitch’s biggest spa streamer Amouranth lost ad revenue without warning
The “ meta spa ” trend has allowed streamers to wear swimsuits through a regulatory loophole, but Twitch retaliated by blocking Loveanth’s ad revenue without warning, setting an alarming precedent for moderation in the media. platform.
Growing tensions surrounding Twitch’s latest controversial trend have come to a head, with one of the most popular “ meta-spa ” streamers suffering the consequences. Kaitlyn ‘Amouranth’ Siragusa, who has 2.8 million subscribers on the platform, suddenly lost all advertising revenue for her channel.
The model and streamer is one of the biggest names on Twitch, who has gained extreme popularity by participating in the recent ‘spa meta’ trend. This is exactly what it looks like – streamers wearing swimsuits in a hot tub or swimming pool as they chat or play – but it has sparked a lot of debate ranging from the overt sexualization of women’s bodies to lack of transparency in moderation of content.
The trend grew out of a loophole in Twitch’s guidelines, which prohibits sexually suggestive content in the context of the stream. There are contextual exceptions to the general rules surrounding partial nudity, such as swimsuits are allowed as long as they are opaque and cover the genitals and nipples (only for women present, by the usual double standards).
This exception is what allowed the phenomenon to begin, with Twitch allowing swimsuits in the context of a hot tub or swimming pool, as it is not inherently sexual in such a scenario. So the streamers made it to their nearest bodies of water (or used green screens to simulate a hot tub if they didn’t have one) and were technically allowed to continue streaming.
Yesterday I was informed that Twitch has indefinitely suspended advertising on my channel
Twitch has not contacted in any way. I must have struck up a conversation after noticing, without warning, that all ad revenue had disappeared from my Channel Analytics
– Amouranth (@Amouranth) May 18, 2021
However, it seems that this exception is no longer. Amouranth recently took to Twitter to let her 1.2 million subscribers know that Twitch had suspended advertising on her channel indefinitely.
The streamer was not even notified of the change by Twitch, instead having to initiate the conversation herself after noticing the complete and unperceived disappearance of ad revenue from her channel’s analysis.
The sudden freeze on Amouranth’s income is a two-fold problem; this both perpetuates the misogynistic double standards that permeate the platform and highlights more widespread concerns about Twitch’s regulatory practices.
I feel like the spa meta is all about regulating contractions to set transparent guidelines and support across the platform.
But I feel like the spa meta’s wrath is taken over the streamers and is a cut above the thinly veiled misogyny.
– Froskurinn (@Froskurinn) April 30, 2021
At some level, we have to question the very nature of Twitch’s problem with Loveanth’s content. A woman’s body is not inherently sexual in any quantity.
The distinction between “ sexy ” and “ sexual ” appears to have little impact on the implementation of Twitch’s guidelines, which will prohibit a woman from revealing clothing even if she is participating in an entirely non-sexual activity ( like training in a belly).
Beyond the confusing boundaries defining sexual content in existing guidelines, Twitch’s communication with Amouranth (or lack thereof) points to broader regulatory issues. The streamer explained her concerns about the sudden removal of her source of income on Twitter:
âThis is an alarming precedent and serves as a warning that while content may not overtly violate community rules or terms of service, Twitch has sole discretion to target individual channels and partially or fully demonetize them for content deemed “ unsuitable for advertisers ”, for which no directive was communicated.
there is something to do. There is no known policy for what causes a streamer to be blacklisted. With characteristic opacity, the only thing Twitch clarifies is that it’s unclear if or when my account can be restored.
– Amouranth (@Amouranth) May 18, 2021
It appears that while Amouranth was taking advantage of a loophole, Twitch was exercising one of their own. There is enough debate around the ambiguity in Twitch’s written terms of service that determine account bans or content removal, but when it comes to censoring ad revenue, there is no known policy for what blacklists a streamer.
Amouranth concluded that “With characteristic opacity, the only thing Twitch has clarified is that it’s unclear if and when my account can be reinstated.”, revealing what appears to be a lack of certainty about regulatory practices, even internally at Twitch.
This problem goes far beyond sexual content, although players deemed provocative are certainly among the most likely to be affected. Without transparency about Twitch’s power to demonetize streamers without warning or explicit reasoning, any creator could lose their income if they were seen as a risk to brands.
People who applaud the removal of Twitch @AmouranthThe company’s revenue will soon be really crazy when their favorite streamer is bombarded for being a brand risk. If you think it stops at sexual content, think again.
– Devin (@DevinNash) May 19, 2021
Of course, matching ads to streamers with appropriate content and aligned audiences is an important aspect of online marketing, but cutting off a revenue stream completely out of the blue could be a devastating blow to some creators. In a stream from her hot tub shortly after her announcement, Amouranth explained why the sudden withdrawal was so unsettling:
âThe problem isn’t that Twitch is removing the ads. They are the ones who do it without specifying their guidelines. We saw it coming. Everyone expected it. No one expected it without communication, however. Just, like, a stealth delete. “
She then expressed her gratitude for her diverse income portfolio, which also includes Instagram, OnlyFans, YouTube and brand referrals, before pointing out that not all streamers are so fortunate.
Really @Tic? This is how you treat creators who bring massive new audiences to your platform? Why haven’t you explained your actions professionally, rather than being sneaky? Are you trying to make an example of Amouranth? How are we supposed to learn if you don’t explain
– PkmnMasterHolly (@PkmnMasterHolly) May 18, 2021
The question also needs to be asked as to who this might affect next – it’s not uncommon for streamers to jump into live play, which could easily be condemned by advertisers. On the other hand, Amouranth pointed out that condom ads are quite normal on Twitch, so “ adult ” topics are freely allowed on the platform when they come from the advertisers themselves.
Beyond being a blatant double standard, there is also a question as to why this advertising content cannot be associated with a content creator considered to be sexual. Does the general rationale for the content of Amouranth not not be “ suitable for advertisers ” really apply where such ads exist on the platform?
A disturbing precedent is being set. A system where Twitch can and will do whatever it wants for the monetization of its own partners without communicating a set of guidelines or a regulatory process. This is something Amouranth just wants to get the word out for right now, before other creators get hurt unexpectedly.
People celebrate it @Amouranth lost ad revenue indefinitely miss the point completely ð
– Yabbe (@ImYabbe) May 18, 2021
She thinks there is a silver lining: “If they stick to that stance, it could open the door to more lenient terms of service, as long as the creator doesn’t care about monetizing the content.”
No matter what type of content you think belongs on Twitch, preventing creators from sharing or profiting from their content without full transparency around relevant guidelines isn’t the way to fairly regulate a platform. Twitch’s communication practices, at the very least, need to change.