Amidst the drama surrounding Twitch’s highly controversial ASMR meta, streaming superstar Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys shared her views on the platform’s handling of the situation and how Twitch’s actions have created “an inevitable time bomb.”
Twitch has already faced heavy criticism from its community over the platform’s infamous ‘hot tub meta,’ but that debate has now been replaced by scrutiny over a new, even more controversial trend sweeping across the streaming service.
Dubbed the ‘ASMR’ or ‘yoga pants’ meta, this new controversy emerged after several streamers switched from lounging in hot tubs to holding ASMR performances in gym attire — something many of their fellow streamers called out as a highly inappropriate stretch of the TOS.
The debate continued to pick up steam, with streamers and viewers alike chiming in on the matter. The latest major player to share their thoughts on the meta is Pokimane, who voiced concerns for Twitch’s future amidst mounting blowback from viewers and advertisers alike.
Poki began by pointing to a previous conversation she held with fans during the hot tub meta, where she predicted that the creators partaking in those streams would simply find another way to “push the envelope” if Twitch ever cracked down on that particular trend.
She added that the issue itself stems from Twitch’s tools used to categorize that type of content, which are severely lacking. “You’re creating an inevitable time bomb” she warned, referring to the platform’s failure to properly address the situation from the get-go.
“You’re gonna keep having this same issue,” she warned, and went on to criticize Twitch for simply slapping a band-aid over what many creators feel is a serious injury, instead of treating the root causes: an extremely confusing TOS and lack of effective moderation.
The creator also shared a concern that she felt many others have overlooked: the impact of the controversial meta on established ASMR creators, who have been largely overshadowed by streamers jumping into the category to join in on the latest money-making trend.
“I feel really bad for legitimate ASMR artists,” she shared, and also pointed out that many of those creators likely feel quite jaded: “For people to come into your category and get to the top by doing the splits with their butt out and gurgling into a mic? It sucks, it’s unfortunate.”
Pokimane also drew stark comparisons to similar situations that have unfolded on YouTube, known as ‘adpocalypses’ — and like others who have spoken out against Twitch’s handling of these metas, she believes the platform is well on its way to suffering an adpocalypse of its own.
“I really hope it doesn’t get to that point with Twitch,” she worried, and warned that if similar events unfold on the streaming site, many top creators could be lumped into a category of “mature content” and lose out on ad revenue — regardless of their participation in these metas.
While some streamers have been banned for taking part in the ASMR meta, it remains to be seen how Twitch will ultimately handle the latest wave of controversial content — but if streamers like Pokimane are worried about the outcome, that doesn’t bode well for the future.