Twitch’s ‘hot tub meta’ is snowballing out of control, but although streamers have found themselves at odds over the issue, Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys believes Twitch deserves most of the blame, not the individuals doing it.
Hot tub streams aren’t a new phenomenon on Twitch. They’ve been around for a while and gained even more popularity after Twitch updated its guidelines in 2019 to permit swimwear at beaches, pools, and hot tubs.
That momentum continued all the way into 2021, and now Twitch is inundated with what has been described as the ‘hot tub meta.’
It’s evolved into a controversial issue with streamers such as Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel and Rachel ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter on either side of the fence. It’s also seen countless hot tub streamers get banned, including those who are mocking it.
And now, in the latest development of the saga, Pokimane slammed Twitch for having “extremely unclear and ambiguous terms of services with such large grey areas.”
Pokimane hopes people ”don’t hold resentment towards the individuals” doing hot tub streams.
Instead, she believes Twitch has done a “bad job of making it clear what is acceptable and what isn’t” and brainstormed possible solutions, including a re-classification of content that falls within the grey area.
“I don’t think Twitch is saying that this content isn’t sexual,” she said. “I think they’re saying it is such a grey area of being sexual that they can’t outright ban it. It is within that area of [not being] bannable but also [not being] appropriate for all ages.”
For that reason, she believes “there needs to be some way to categorize that in-between type of content.”
Pokimane complimented Twitch for “trying to make things straightforward.” However, she believes human moderation is necessary, otherwise suggestive streams will “take over the whole platform.”
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“People toe the line so much that you need to have someone who can just, as a human, go to a stream and be like, ah, this is suggestive, and do something about that. That doesn’t mean a ban. But do something about that.”
Twitch has already addressed the issue, claiming they’re “closely” monitoring the situation.
However, we’ll have to wait and see how they decide to tackle it, and whether they’ll implement any solutions similar to the ones Pokimane suggested.