One stream too far: Twitch finally takes stance on ASMR meta, and it’s for the best
Twitch is taking a stance against the rise of the “ASMR meta” on the platform by banning two of its biggest creators, Amouranth and Indiefoxx. However, it could be a sign of not just the future meta — much like the hot tub streams before it — but the future of the site as a whole.
Twitch made it known on June 18 that, at least for the next few days, ASMR streams are under the microscope.
They did so by banning two of the platform’s biggest streamers: Amouranth and Indiefoxx. Combined they have over four million followers, with tens of thousands tuning into the streams of them licking their microphone while wearing leggings.
It led to a boom in popularity in the ASMR category, which exploded from around 14,000 average viewers to over 20,000 and climbing in less than a week. It’s now in the top 30 streamed categories in Twitch, and likely would have continued rising if not for the bans.
Among all the memes and the bewilderment, it’s easy to forget the ‘legitimate’ ASMR streamers — the ones reading stories or roleplaying, not just licking a microphone — got pushed down in their own category because of the surge of “meta streamers” intruding, looking to make a quick buck with sub challenges involving farting into their own mics.
That hurts not only the individual creators, but the platform itself. When the narrative is dominated with scandalous headlines, it’s a PR nightmare. Twitch showed with these bans they are willing to take back ground, but they need to draw the line in the sand.
A much-needed crack down on an out-of-control category
Someone needs to say the quiet part out loud: These streams are problematic for Twitch. The content has always toed the “sexually suggestive” line, which is something the Amazon-owned platform has tried to block, and now just ignores.
That’s not to say streamers like Amouranth and Indiefoxx don’t have a place on the platform. However the constant chasing of that next big trend led to this implosion. It was a step too far.
The ASMR category, and the platform was spiralling out of control. Twitch needed to take back the narrative, and they might have done it with the bans. But it’s not enough.
Was the scorn of other Twitch streamers enough to end the ASMR meta?
Regardless of what pundits think, Twitch’s biggest streamers took issue with the new meta. Mizkif, Summit1g, Asmongold were all in disbelief — some would add rightfully so — about the content these streamers were pushing on the platform.
By not taking a solid enough stance on the hot tub meta, Twitch left themselves vulnerable to a new one rising up. Asmongold said Twitch “wrote themselves into a corner” by saying “they won’t publish ‘perceived attractiveness’ of streamers who make obviously sexual content.”
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Smaller broadcasters who got banned over menial things would isolate the ASMR streams as something Twitch should be focusing more on. It happened with hot tub streams too, and it set an ugly precedent for mods to look the other way when it comes to the ‘untouchables’.
Was the content sexually suggestive? If you asked almost everyone, they’d say yes. Now Twitch is agreeing with that sentiment for the time being.
Amouranth and Indiefoxx, if they’re allowed to, will probably jump right back into the streams once their suspensions finish. It’s up to Twitch to lay down the law between now and then and bring an end to the “meta”.
What are Twitch’s intentions? We still don’t know.
Much like how they slowed down hot tub streams by pushing streamers into a new category outside of Just Chatting, the new ASMR trend could be going the same way. A new category could be made, and Twitch will just be hands-off again.
What needs to happen, though, is Twitch needs to give some clarity. To the streamers, who deserve to know exactly why they were banned, and what they can do to avoid it in the future.
However, they need to give it to the community too. There needs to be a clear line in the sand of what’s acceptable. Twitch was right in saying “being found to be sexy by others is not against our rules,” but content that is sexual in nature is. The fact there isn’t a clear distinction is concerning.
Asmongold put it best: “Until Twitch is willing to call a spade a spade, they’ll just come back to a new meta instead.”
Looks like all the "ASMR" streamers are getting banned
Cool but until Twitch is willing to call a spade a spade, they'll just come back to a new meta instead
Curious to see what happens now, my expectations are very low
— Zack (@Asmongold) June 19, 2021
Amouranth and Indiefoxx haven’t taken the bans too harshly. However, whether Twitch will accept their presence in the future remains in doubt. After all, it could be one more trend before three strikes, and you’re out.
Dexerto has contacted Twitch for comment.