Microsoft's streaming service Mixer is coming under newfound scrutiny following the announcement of Ninja's exclusivity contract with the platform. The Twitch competitor stirred controversy Sunday morning for its heavy-handed "Streamer Clothing Requirements," which say that any streamer showing more than a "hint" of cleavage will be limited to the platform's 18+ Stream category. Controversy for the platform continued to grow after users discovered a tweet from co-founder Matt Salsamendi showing support for an allegedly racist streamer that had been banned from Twitch.
This past Thursday, Salsamendi posted a supportive message to IRL streamer Ice Poseidon after the online personality declared that they were considering moving to the Mixer platform. Ice Poseidon was banned from Twitch in 2017 after leaking his own location, which resulted in an American Airlines flight being "swatted" under the guise of a bomb threat. Ice Poseidon is also known to promote racist views on his livestreams, including repeated use of the n-word and anti-Mexican sentiment.
Ice Poseidon posted August 3 that he was considering Mixer for "chill or gaming streams," noting that he'd dabbled on Mixer in the past with a friend. Salsamendi replied that he still had a VOD from one such stream, supportive of the idea of Ice Poseidon returning. Salsamendi is also the only public figure from Mixer or Microsoft to respond to allegations that Mixer's clothing requirements are sexist, saying that it is something Mixer is "talking seriously about."
Mixer's Streamer Clothing Requirements are rating-specific subsections. "Family Friendly Streams" require streamers to wear clothing over their entire visible body "from a few inches above the bust-line." An "18+ Stream" allows for cleavage but requires clothing to reach the "end of the rib cage," so as not to allow "under cleavage." Twitch's guidelines, for comparison, restrict nudity and sexually suggestive clothing but leave the determination to moderators.
I still have the vod of @Tracksuit_Cx dancing to some Dolphins with Lasers. :mappa— Matt (@MattSalsamendi) August 2, 2019
Critics are saying that it's difficult to trust that Salsamendi will address accusations of sexist policy while he supports a streamer like Ice Poseidon on the Mixer platform. Today's news comes as somewhat of a surprise given Microsoft's recent positioning, specifically with regards to Xbox boss Phil Spencer's own comments. Spencer has said clearly, "How we show up as an organization is incredibly important to me." He explained the importance of an inclusive culture at Xbox and how "who we hire and partner with is a direct reflection of ... what we stand for." Spencer has also pushed proactive moderation to remove sexism, bullying, and harassment from the Xbox platform.
Mixer, of course, isn't a division of Xbox, but is a major service on the Xbox platform. It just goes to show that not all divisions in Microsoft may be aligned to the same goals.