Twitch responds to hot tub streams, and not everyone is happy
The term "hot tub meta" has become huge in the Twitch community as more streamers start to spend their broadcasts lounging in a bikini for their thirsty fans.
Some Twitch users, including both streamers and viewers, have started calling out Twitch to deal with this increasing trend. Many have noted that it breaks Twitch's Terms of Service to wear such revealing clothing and have a stream be so focused on certain parts of the body. While a few streamers have faced suspensions for their hot tub antics, most of the hot tub streams have gone unchecked as the trend continues to grow.
After continuous complaints and accusations from the streaming community, Twitch's head of creator development decided to address the hot tub meta. Marcus "djWHEAT" Graham acknowledged that some people are "disappointed" by Twitch's content. But he simply told Twitch users to ignore the hot tub streams and use the "I am not interested" button.
"Look, I know that it doesn't solve anything. But there needs to be at least a solution for individuals that are like, 'I see this content and I would prefer not to see this content,'" djWHEAT said.
Streaming community frustrated with djWHEAT response to hot tub meta
This solution didn't sit well with the Twitch community as a whole who were hoping for a more permanent solution to the hot tub meta that showed balance and consistency. As it currently stands, it appears that Twitch favors streamers who focus on this content since they are not punished as often or as harshly as some popular male streamers. While there may be a "secret" strike system at Twitch, it currently just appears like Twitch employees are not willing to ban sexy streamers.
djWHEAT said in a recent stream that communities were "content shaming" the hot tub streamers. But some in the streaming community had a strong response to this take.
"Severely disappointed at djWHEAT and Twitch's response to the 'hot tub meta,'" streamer Major Arlene tweeted. "It's incredibly clear you have not watched more than two minutes of any of the streams or you don't know your own TOS. Reporting systems have done nothing."
Major Arelene went on to say that djWHEAT was blaming the community for having concerns and emphasized that it's not about what people like, but rather what is appropriate according to Twitch's ToS. The streamer said Twitch should update its ToS to support the allowance of sexually explicit content if it wants hot tub streams to continue.
djWHEAT decided to reply to this series of tweets, doubling down on his own take.
You are correct, I have not watched more than 2 minutes of those streams because that’s not what I watch on Twitch.— djWHEAT (@djWHEAT) April 29, 2021
Some Twitch members did not like djWHEAT's seemingly flippant response to the hot tub debate. They stated once again that it was about Twitch's Terms of Service, not just personal taste in content.
"We covered this with a bit more detail in yesterday's Let's Chat stream, and made it clear that the T&S team was aware of this and was watching it closely. My response was nothing but honesty around how I have not watched more than two minutes of these streams," djWHEAT said to critics on Twitter.
But this just prompted people to ask why djWHEAT and other Twitch employees wouldn't watch the hot tub streams if they knew they were going to discuss the issue on the Let's Chat stream.
"Let's be real. You don't have to watch the content to understand why people have concerns, why people are upset, why there is confusion. I'm not sure why people equate time viewed to an understanding of the issue," djWHEAT said.
The community responded by saying it was time to stop just "watching it closely" and to instead take action if the concerns were so clear. For many using Twitch, the hot tub meta has been a big issue due to its potentially exploitative nature. Some have even stated that there's now a virtual "red light district" on Twitch, and are worried that parts of Twitch will slowly be taken over by sexualized content if there's no pushback from the streaming platform.
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