Matt Gaetz Announces Twitch Channel, Sparking Backlash

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is asking people to subscribe to his channel at a convention that has drawn neo-Nazis.

photo: Joe Radle (Getty Images)

First Amazon owned Twitch was devastated by a major gambling scandal. Then it revealed a new worse revenue split for the developers because it had to overcharge itself for servers. Next, Bloomberg reported that the platform has a major problem when it comes to potential predators using it to target children. And now Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is under investigation for human trafficking and alleged sex with a minor, has announced his plan to use the platform to spread his racist dog whistles. “Is it Friday already?” Someone on Twitch probably asked.

As a platform owned by a monopoly logistics company known for squashing competitors and union busting of its workersand which is regularly investigated for how it handles instances of misogyny, racism, and other hateful behaviors that occur on it, Twitch is no stranger to controversy.

But even in that context, this week has been a particularly bad one. The reaction to gambling spurred it to hastily announce some somber new rules and somehow led to a streamer getting Suspended for allegedly covering up sexual assault. Streamers have also raised hell with threats about Twitch’s decision to pay them less money Boycotting TwitchCon 2022 next month.

In the middle Bloomberg reports that according to a study shared with him and his own research, a total of 1,976 users had potentially approached 279,016 children on Twitch over a two-year period. “We hate even a single instance of grooming,” said Tom Verrilli, Twitch’s chief product officer Bloomberg. “If it’s valid, the data you’re referring to shows we’re not yet providing the level of protection we’re aiming for – which is deeply worrying. This work is vital to everyone at Twitch and we will never stop.”

How could things get any worse for the social media platform, which made $2.6 billion in revenue last year? Enter Matt Gaetz.

“I’m joining Twitch to take my America First message to a new generation of viewers,” he said announced Thursday on Twitter. “Twitch will join the array of platforms I live stream on including Rumble, GETTRTwitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.”

The news comes less than a week later The Washington Post reported that Congressman Florida asked President Trump for an apology in connection with a US Department of Justice investigation into sex trafficking. Background information on this probe, The post writes:

The Justice Department’s investigation into whether Gaetz paid for sex, paid women to travel across state lines to have sex and had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old opened in last months of the Trump administration with the permission of Attorney General William P. Barr. The investigation stemmed from a federal investigation into Gaetz’s boyfriend, who is now a convicted sex trafficker. Gaetz has denied paying for sex or having sex with a minor as an adult.

Having sex with a 17-year-old is considered statutory rape in Florida. But Gaetz probably isn’t coming to Twitch to discuss it.

Instead, he will likely use the platform to do so Peddling the White Substitute Theorythe racist ideology referenced earlier this year Buffalo mass shooterstalk about how Women are too ugly to need abortionsmake transphobic tweets, or some other heinous nonsense to troll yourself into another two years in office. A spokesman for Twitch declined to comment on the recordings, but did direct kotaku to his Community Guidelines and plans for address misinformation and “apart from service behavior.”

The company has banned streamers for less money. Let’s see how long it lasts this time. Matt Gaetz Announces Twitch Channel, Sparking Backlash

Curtis Crabtree

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