A stealth change to how Linktree handles redirects to potentially inappropriate content has some of Twitch’s most prominent hot tub streamers abandoning the site.
Linktree is a website that allows content creators to provide links to all their channels and pages in one neat place for viewer convenience.
It hasn’t come without controversy, however. Many Twitch users have expressed concerns that being allowed to feature Linktree on channels is an exploit certain streamers use to indirectly promote their more adult-themed content.
By having Linktree as an in-between from Twitch and sites such as OF, streamers can get around certain rules pertaining to what content is acceptable to link to on the platform.
Linktree cracks down on mature content
A stealthy update to how Linktree handles such links is forcing some streamers to move away from it in favor of similar tools without the same restrictions.
On July 12, Linktree announced that they would begin enabling sensitive content labels by default on certain domains. Prior to this, users could manually choose to enable restrictions or not.
If users click on a link that redirects to OF, they are prompted with a warning that reads “Sensitive Content: This link may contain content that is not appropriate for all audiences,” and are forced to click “continue” if they wish to advance.
“Some platforms also apply their own terms and conditions regarding sensitive content to your Linktree, so they don’t allow access to links to specific domains,” Linktree’s announcement stated. “As a result, when your visitors reach your Linktree from these platforms and try to access those domains, they may get a message to say that the link is blocked.”
Streamers see stats decline after Linktree change
The change has apparently had some significant repercussions for streamers who use Linktree to promote their more risque material.
Twitch streamer xoAeriel, the originator of the hot tub meta, told Dexerto she has seen a “DRAMATIC” decrease in clicks. “It’s insanely wild. I had no idea what was going on.”
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Aeriel explained that, while she remains in the top 0.1% of OF creators, she has seen a drop in new sign-ups. At the same time, her Linktree analytics have declined.
“I don’t mind it having a warning on the content though, because I don’t think that will actually deter adults from clicking anyways,” she added. “I’m more concerned about the link not going through because of moderation.”
“I’ll probably switch, because if it’s notifying a person that they can’t view the link because the platform they are coming from has restrictions, then that’s mildly annoying,” xoAeriel said.
She may not be the only big streamer switching as a result, either. Kaitlyn ‘Amouranth’ Siragusa has removed Linktree from her Twitch profile, replacing it with a Snipfeed link instead. However, the hot tub star and cosplayer has kept Linktree on her Twitter and Instagram accounts.
It should be noted, however, that it’s unclear if this was done because of Linktree’s new policies – but the timing is interesting, with Aeriel herself believing this is why Amouranth switched.
Earlier in July, Twitch indefinitely banned hot tub streamer ExoHydraX, apparently over the content on her Linktree. She was later unbanned the same day with the Amazon-owned platform claiming the suspension was made in error.