Entertainment

SweetAnita, XChocobars & more expose police inaction to Twitch stalkers

Published: 7/Sep/2020 23:06 Updated: 8/Sep/2020 13:04

by Virginia Glaze

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Popular Twitch streamer Sweet Anita has been battling a stalker for quite some time without much help from police — and now, she’s gathered statements from other top broadcasters who are speaking out in hopes that their testimonies can raise awareness to a disturbing and ever-growing online issue.

On August 24, Twitch broadcaster Janet Rose — commonly known by her online moniker, ‘XChocoBars’ — expressed fears of being killed by her stalker of two years. She isn’t the only internet personality dealing with such a frightening situation — and she’s certainly not the only one afraid for her life.

“I often think about how I will [probably] die by the hands of my stalker, and no one can do anything about it until it really happens,” Rose tweeted. “I know it’s heavy to talk about, but if it does happen, I hope my death will mean something and help protect other creators from similar situations.”

Her Tweet echoes eerily similar posts by other content creators, such as fellow Twitch star Sweet Anita, who has likewise been open about her own experiences in dealing with a long-term stalker.

According to Anita, her stalker moved within four minutes of where she lived and even took to sleeping outside of her home.

However, that disturbing factoid doesn’t even compare to when he followed her to a shop and chased her out into the street, purportedly carrying a knife. It was only after he was held back by two shopkeepers, who testified to local law enforcement, that he was arrested — but it doesn’t seem like his brush with the law has put him off one bit.

In a screenshot posted to Twitter on July 14, Anita revealed a series of death threats the stalker made via her Twitch chat. One message read: “I’ll kill you soon. Not with the cheap kitchen knife I had last time. No, I’m gonna bring out something special for you.”

Defeated, Anita admitted she felt “helpless,” having reached out to police multiple times with little to no results and a lackluster attitude, to boot.

“If anything happens to me, I really hope that I’m the last canary in the coal mine,” she wrote. “The law needs to change. No job should have such a high risk of rape, assault or death, especially not livestreaming.”

Twitch streamers are far from the only online personalities suffering from stalkers; TikTok’s most-followed content creator, Charli D’Amelio, is also dealing with a similar situation — with an eerily disturbing twist.

Influencer ‘Lovely Peaches’ made a sickening threat toward the 16-year-old TikToker in early July, claiming that she’d hired a 30-year-old man to sexually assault her.

Peaches even posted photos to Instagram that seemed to have been taken outside the D’Amelio family home, claiming that she’d hired a member of Charli’s security team to carry out the heinous deed.

Shortly thereafter, it was reported that the D’Amelios had hired a private security detail as a protective measure in wake of Peaches’ threats, which big sister Dixie D’Amelio admitted she couldn’t say much about during a prior interview with paparazzi.

Studies from a 2018 Vice article show that 55 British women from 2015 – 2017 were killed by men who they had previously reported to law enforcement.

This, compared with Anita’s own retelling of UK police’s apparent mishandling of her own stalking situation, holds up to paint an especially horrific picture of negligence and outright carelessness — and there’s not much that the streamers, nor their fans, can do to immediately help.

“The sad thing is, I have had this happen before, even before streaming, and I know he won’t be the last,” Anita continued. “I’m exasperated. No matter how extreme the situation, the response has always been the same. They log it and do nothing, and I feel helpless.”

Janet has experienced a similar situation with US police, with fellow streamer Disguised Toast claiming that she has “gone to the authorities, spoken to lawyers – responses always boils down to: ‘We can’t do anything unless he does commit a crime,’ despite the overwhelming amount of evidence.”

These issues have been further brought to light by a video Anita uploaded to YouTube on September 7, which included interviews with other Twitch stars like xChocobars, Kaceytron, and Destiny, all of whom shared their own experiences with stalkers — and expressed disappointment at police inaction regarding the matter.

“I’ve given up a long time ago,” Chocobars said of her situation during the interview with Anita. “I think I gave up when the police or the authorities said they couldn’t do much. That’s who’s supposed to protect us, you know?”

“I don’t ever rely on the cops for help,” Destiny added. “It seems it’s kind of like, everybody’s out for themselves about everything because the police just don’t give a f*** about online s**t at all.”

It’s no secret that the rising “simp” army — a term for overly dedicated male fans of female entertainers who go out of their way to perform generous actions with the intent of striking up a romantic relationship with them — is just one symptom of the ever-evolving parasocial relationships we see online.

The line between real-life interactions and these parasocial relationships are ever-blurring — to the point that viewers have donated entire months’ worth of rent to their favorite streamer in the hopes she’ll ask them out on a date.

As online behavior seems to continually degrade, women (and men) with a social media presence are left, as Anita so described, “helpless.” With combined inaction from law enforcement and open harassment of women on the internet in spite of their pleas to stop (as seen in the case of AT&T commercial actress Milana Vayntrub), it’s easy for them to feel completely overwhelmed.

Looking at Anita and Janet’s Tweets side-by-side puts a sick feeling into one’s stomach. It’s as if they’ve accepted — or at least been forced to accept — the very real possibility that they could get seriously hurt or even die at the hands of stalkers, an issue that has gone relatively unchecked by police.

Luckily, fans are at the ready with tips, suggestions and even legal advice, and although there’s no guarantee of either woman’s safety, the sentiment from viewers and friends of the streamers’ is overwhelmingly positive, burning a bright light in an impossibly hopeless and desperate situation that has become all too familiar for content creators.

Overwatch

Former Overwatch pro Ryuhejong suspended from Gen.G following Twitch drama

Published: 19/Jan/2021 21:43

by Bill Cooney

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Former Overwatch League star Jehong ‘Ryujehong’ Ryu has been suspended from the Gen.G organization after reportedly making sexist comments on stream.

Widely regarded as one of the best Ana and flex support players around, Ryujehong is a familiar name to any Overwatch esports fan. He was one of the most popular players in OWL before stepping away from the competitive scene after the Vancouver Titans nuked their roster back in May 2020.

On January 11, 2021, Gen.G announced that RJH would be joining their org as a content creator, which makes sense, as he was a figurehead for the org’s Seoul Dynasty squad during the League’s first two seasons.

Following what was a very short honeymoon period, the Korean-based org has now suspended Ryu for sexist comments he made on stream that quickly caught the attention of social media, as you can see below:

On January 16, Jehong streamed alongside a female streamer named Haegi, and reportedly made a number of sexist comments towards her multiple times, and even called her out for interrupting him, claiming that women shouldn’t interrupt men.

Since the stream happened the VOD has been deleted, but this is the internet, and the comments were quickly translated into English, kicking off the storm of social media backlash.

On January 19, Gen.G’s Chief Operating Officer Arnold Hur announced that the org was suspending Ryujehong “indefinitely” due to his on stream-comments.

“I’m personally very disappointed in the language used during the stream by Jehong. He was wrong, and I find it uncharacteristic of the person I knew who has always been a considerate, kind-hearted teammate,” Hur wrote. “Our belief is that whether you are a player or streamer, anybody with a platform should understand the responsibility of the higher standards that come with it. As such, we have suspended all of Jehong’s team-related activities indefinitely.”

Like Hur mentioned, Jehong did put out an apology of his own after the firestorm started, where he apologized for what he said, and promised to watch how he speaks in the future, but added he won’t be censoring himself either, according to a translation provided by @hannahhycho on Twitter.

“I am trying to move my streams towards the streamer Ryujehong. I know there are many people who used to watch my old streams who are struggling to adjust to the chat and are confused by the fact I will be using ‘streamer memes’ but I hope you can understand,” RJH wrote, according to the translation. “From now on, I will listen to feedback for my streams and chat to develop them further… I saw some messages from people who aren’t my fans and I want to tell them to stop fanning the flames.”

Just in case there weren’t enough wrinkles to this story, Haegi, the female streamer who was broadcasting with Ryujehong when the incident took place, has come out and defended him according to translations by Reddit user Great-Reno, saying they were bantering back and forth and what happened wasn’t what it seemed.

“Why RJH gets all the blame when I made sexist jokes with him either? This is a bit undeserved,” Haegi said in a YouTube video posted after the outrage began, according to the translation. “I’m cool with it. Why does it matter when the person involved with the matter feels okay? I don’t see why people get offended by this. Live in comfort please.”

Opinion from the female streamer that RJH was with from Competitiveoverwatch

Now, even if it just was some friendly banter back and forth, the kind of language Ryujehong apparently used just doesn’t fly when you’re signed to a major esports org like Gen.G, and is also a huge disappointment to the greater Overwatch community who saw him as a role model, and just a genuine, stand-up dude.

It remains to be seen when or if RJH will return from his suspension to being an active member of Gen.G.