Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys has called for Twitch to add a curated kids section to the site that filters “inappropriate” broadcasts and categories, in an effort to make the Amazon-owned platform a safer place for all ages.
Pokimane’s Twitch chat has been filled with abuse since her run-in with now-banned streamer JiDion this month, and she was shocked to discover many are children she believes “don’t know any better.” The realization led to her thinking about how to make Twitch a safer site for kids.
The solution, she suggested, is a kids-specific category.
“Okay, maybe the way Twitch should manage it is all kids should be on kids version of the apps and platforms, that … just include things that have to go through a filter, so they’re more acceptable for children,” she said.
“Kids on the internet will regurgitate absolutely everything, even if they have no idea what they’re saying,” the Moroccan-Canadian star added. “It’s a shame.”
Pokimane believes open access to a host of streaming Twitch channels and major streamers who “aren’t careful” about being role models for their younger audiences is the perfect blend to create a toxic learning environment for kids, and should be fixed by the Amazon website.
“When I first started playing online games I was 11 or 12, along those lines. I remember my experience first going on the internet was great,” she said.
“I made friends in these games, we did quests together. It was wholesome. Even though they were older, it was a nice, sweet experience. Memories I will treasure forever. Maybe that’s why I grew up so I didn’t harass people for no reason.”
According to the 25-year-old streaming star, that’s not the same experience young kids are having on the internet, and especially on Twitch, in the 2020s now.
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“[What I see these days] isn’t what I want,” she said. “When I saw all these kids harassing me, it’s a shame. They don’t even know they’re being used by others.”
On top of that, spending time watching inappropriate content or listening to the wrong streamers will set a learning curve for young children at an impressionable age, especially when kids “regurgitate absolutely everything” they see.
“That’s why,” Pokimane continued, “if you’re a streamer who weaponizes kids for clout, [and] say easy clickbait stuff to confuse and hype up kids, for clout, you need help.”
“Brainwashing kids into hating someone, or believing all the things you’re saying online, or speaking inappropriately, all of that is just still weird, and bad.”
Twitch does already offer several features to help parents make the streaming site safer for children, including the “not interested” preferences for mature content, and the ability to change messaging security in options.
Pokimane’s suggestion already appears on the platform’s direct rival, YouTube, too. On the Google-owned video-sharing titan, children can access a “YouTube Kids” category which streamlines different videos and livestreams that are more age-appropriate and blocks all other uploads.
“I think it’s important,” Pokimane added. “Kids are just kids. The definition of a kid is literally not being fully formed. We should be treating them with care.”