What’s up with the dangerous trend of on-stream driving on Twitch?

By William Davis


Jan 21, 2024

Reading time: 3 min

Twitch is the home of many internet trends that spread around the globe. Most of these trends remain entertaining and pose huge meme potential while others tend to become the topic of controversial discussions. The latest of these controversial phenomena is the increasing number of creators going live on Twitch while being behind the wheel. 

Just recently, Twitch streamer Knut found himself at the center of a safety discussion and faced a ban from the platform. The cause? Distracted driving, a violation of Twitch’s zero-tolerance policy on unsafe behavior during streams.

As streaming and gaming experts increasingly notice, distracted driving incidents are not new on Twitch. In the past months, there have been several streamers attempting to multitask by engaging with their chat while navigating the road. However, Knut’s case took a serious turn when a clip surfaced on December 30, 2023, showcasing him blatantly checking his chat while behind the wheel.

Fans are outraged and Twitch’s Stance

The incident did not go unnoticed by the Twitch community, as a tweet accompanied by the stream raised concerns about Twitch’s approach to distracted driving. The clip revealed Knut repeatedly diverting his attention from the road to his phone and Twitch chat, all while another vehicle passed him. The question posed in the community is clear: “Why does Twitch always turn a blind eye to distracted driving?

Discussions on Reddit and other platforms touched on the potential consequences of reckless behavior on stream, with fans emphasizing the lack of concern until a tragic incident occurs. Twitch viewers are increasingly concerned that no one will care until someone innocent gets killed by an influencer reading a chat while driving.

Reactions from Fellow Streamers: A Call for Responsibility

Fellow streamers, including Twitch and Kick star Felix “xQc,” reacted to Knut’s viral clip, recounting personal experiences of close calls due to distracted driving in his McLaren. XQC highlighted just how severe the issue was and the potential risks associated with the growing trend.

Knut’s scandal finally led to Twitch taking decisive action against Knut, banning his channel with a message indicating a violation of Twitch’s Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. The ban’s duration remains unknown, but it’s unlikely to be permanent. Nevertheless, the severity of the ban serves as a reminder of the potential consequences streamers may face for compromising safety during their broadcasts.

The situation also sparked comparisons with a previous incident involving a Polish streamer who received a permanent ban after causing harm while distracted by chat and accidentally running over a dog.

Knut isn’t the only Twitch streamer to face consequences for distracted driving. Reddit users drew attention to another incident involving One True King (OTK) member Emily “ExtraEmily,” who was suspended from the platform on October 14, 2023, for using her phone while driving.

The Reddit community actively contributed to the discourse, sharing various opinions and experiences. Some users expressed frustration with Knut’s consistent phone use during streams, citing instances where he seemed more engrossed in his device than the road.

Prioritizing Safety Over Entertainment

In conclusion, the controversy surrounding Knut’s distracted driving brings to light the broader issue of streamers neglecting safety for the sake of online engagement. It prompts a crucial conversation about the responsibility of both content creators and platforms in ensuring a safe and accountable online environment. Twitch needs to take a fierce stand on the topic of on-stream driving and impose a policy with no exceptions to make the streets but also the platform a save space for everyone.


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