The Dark Side of Amazon Twitch

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/341818/amazon-twitch-used-to-stream-shooting-outside-syna.html

“A shooter outside a synagogue in Germany on Wednesday used Amazon Twitch to broadcast the killings on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews.” (MediaPost.com). This was the opening sentence for an absolutely horrifying article on Media Post’s website. The live video was 35 minutes long and streamed the killing of two people.

Twitch issued a statement offering condolences to families, witnesses, and others involved. Obviously, they have a policy against hateful conduct but the fact is that an app was used to broadcast an incident so terrible it can most likely never be forgotten by those who saw it. In addition to the statement, Twitch said that they were working hard to remove any accounts that could be associated with any hateful or terrorist content.

Twitch is mostly a home for gamers but essentially is a live-streaming app. In fact, in September, the company released a brand new advertising campaign emphasizing that Twitch is an “all-purpose live-streaming platform,” which moves away from the focus on a video gaming platform.

Facebook experienced a similar incident in 2019 when the massacre in New Zealand was streamed. These incidents are pretty much unable to be prevented. Streaming systems are designed to stream any sort of content. Unless there is some way for the content to be evaluated live time, there is no way for the stream to be shut down in action.

One thought on “The Dark Side of Amazon Twitch

  1. The scariest part of all these scenarios is what you’ve already mentioned: there’s no way to shut down a stream until it’s in action. And by then, who knows how many people will have witnessed it. I’m no tech expert, but I’m hoping some type of algorithm can be developed to catch on-screen violence almost instantly, or somehow these random terrorists accounts can be filtered so they do not gain any major traffic. At the very least, there should be (I’m sure there already is, but who knows) teams whose sole responsibility is to monitor offensive content being streamed.

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