Most gamers will be already familiar with Twitch, but those who are unfamiliar, Twitch is a video game streaming platform where players can livestream their video games while chatting with their viewers. But Twitch is not always used for streaming video games; some people stream other activities like painting, music, or just simply chatting with their audience. Twitch has strict policies in place to keep users from streaming inappropriate content, which can be anything ranging from copyrighted material to hateful conduct, but that hasn’t stopped people from streaming whatever they want.
Today, another unfortunate stream got the limelight on Twitch. A shooting took place outside a synagogue in the Eastern German city of Halle. The shooting was livestreamed on Twitch for nearly 35 minutes, as confirmed the company officials. Two people were killed in the attack, according to German police. The video showed the shooter shooting a woman before entering the synagogue. He was unable to enter the building and shot another person before driving away.
Twitch has already taken down the video and the channel associated with it. “We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Germany today, and our deepest condolences go out to all those affected,” said one Twitch official. “Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against hateful conduct, and any act of violence is taken extremely seriously. We are working with urgency to remove this content and permanently suspend any accounts found to be posting or reposting content of this abhorrent act.” Previously, Twitch CEO also addressed Twitch moderation policies but didn’t give out any details.
Even though the footage is no longer available on Twitch, there are downloadable links available on other sites like 4Chan. According to NBC News, the video has also been posted to 10 different white-supremacist Telegram channels.
This is not the first time a streaming platform was used to broadcast acts of evil. Previously, the New Zealand mosque shooting was also livestreamed on Facebook Live in March, and infamously mentioned the "subscribe to PewDiePie" meme. It’s a serious problem that many streaming platforms face right now. Since it’s difficult to flag a stream automatically, platforms like Twitch rely on user reports to determine whether a stream is breaking any rules or not, which can be time-consuming and give people enough time to broadcast their evil acts.
Source: NBC News