Twitch star Imane “Pokimane” Anys has hit back at critics on Twitter who accused her of “exploiting” her male fans for donations after she made a pointed message about constructive criticism.
Pokimane is one of Twitch’s top streamers, boasting over 4.8 million subscribers due to her humorous interactions with fans and hilarious reactions to content during her broadcasts.
However, being a forward-facing online entertainer is no cake walk, with Anys facing criticism after accidentally showing inappropriate material during a May 19 stream — a subject she seemed to mention in a Tweet posted on May 21.
“You can say what you wanna say without being disrespectful,” she wrote.
While some fans and fellow broadcasters agreed with her statement, one commenter accused the streamer of manipulating her male fans for donations, claiming that she was responsible for their “donation addiction,” which they compared to gambling addiction.
“Respectfully, the way in which you exploit lonely men for donation money is predatory in nature and I think you should be limiting what you accept from them,” they wrote. “They are getting the same rush one gets from gambling addiction by donating.”
Respectfully, the way in which you exploit lonely men for donation money is predatory in nature n I think you should be limiting what you accept from them. they are getting the same rush one gets from gambling addiction by donating. Gambling addiction is bad, so is dono addiction
— yung slipp? (@itsslipperypete) May 22, 2020
“Just because I stream on Twitch doesn’t mean I ‘exploit lonely men for money,’” Anys hit back in a now-deleted Tweet. “…I don’t create personal relationships with my donors, nor do I exchange anything else for money, but a ‘Thank you.’”
Another commenter chimed in on the matter, noting that there are male fans who seek relationships with female streamers and entertainers in a kind of parasocial relationship.
“It’s not too far fetched to me to think there’s probably a few out there that virtually treat you as a girlfriend,” the user chimed in. “They get to donate so they feel like they provide, they can openly say they love you and most likely hear the words back, things like that.”
It's not too far fetched to me to think there's probably a few out there that virtually treat you as a girlfriend. They get to donate so they feel like they provide, they can openly say they love you and most likely hear the words back, things like that.
— Dakota Smith (@Rusenko_Noshi) May 22, 2020
“I agree there are probably people like that out there, but all I can do is discourage that sort of thought pattern/behavior,” Pokimane replied. “Which I try to do, and not feed into it.”
While Anys has since deleted her Tweets replying to these comments, this isn’t the first time she’s hit back at such comments, having slammed YouTuber ‘ItsAGundam’ for criticizing her “simp” viewers just a few days prior.