A hot potato: It appears Twitch has decided that hot tub meta streams are just a bit too steamy for the platform. One of its famous female stars and someone who has embraced the phenomenon of streaming in a bikini, Kaitlyn "Amouranth" Siragusa, can no longer run ads on her videos---despite not technically breaking any of Twitch's rules.
Hot tub streams, which started gaining popularity last year, really took off in March, leading to people declaring them the new "meta." Many of these broadcasts follow much of the same formula as regular streams---playing games, talking to viewers, and so on---except the presenters are in hot tubs wearing swimsuits.
Siragusa is well known for her hot tub streams. With 20,000 subscribers, she's currently ranked the 22nd most popular streamer on Twitch. But her success hasn't come without controversy. Much like those female streamers that face criticism over their revealing costumes, streaming from a hot tub attracts plenty of detractors who claim presenters are using their bodies to attract views and subs. Felix' xQc' Lengyel, Twitch's second most popular streamer, branded it "pathetic."
IM GONNA BE HONNEST, THIS HOT TUB META IS BY FAR THE MOST PATHETIC THING WE'VE SEEN ON TWITCH IN FOREVER. WHAT A SAD REALITY. PLEASE GET THIS TRASH OFF THE FRONTPAGE--- xQc (@xQc) April 19, 2021
Twitch does allow streamers to appear on camera in their swimsuits if the context (i.e. in a hot tub) allows, but the Amazon-owned company said it was "monitoring" the situation. Now, it appears to have made a decision.
This is an ALARMING precedent and serves as a stark warning that although content may not ostensibly break community guidelines or Terms of service, Twitch has complete discretion to target individual channels & partially or wholly demonetized them for--- Amouranth (@Amouranth) May 18, 2021
"Yesterday I was informed that Twitch has indefinitely suspended advertising on my channel," Siragusa tweeted. "Twitch didn't reach out in any way whatsoever. I had to initiate the conversation after noticing, without any prior warning, all the ads revenue had disappeared from my channel analytics."
Siragusa believes her demonetization is due to hot tub streams being "not advertiser friendly."
"Many people complain about [Twitch's terms of service] being 'unclear,' but at least there's something to go by," she wrote. "There is no known policy for what results in a streamer being put on this blacklist. With characteristic opacity, the only thing Twitch made clear is that it is unclear whether or when my account can be reinstated."
Kotaku notes that Siragusa makes money from Instagram, OnlyFans, YouTube, and brand sponsors, among others, but she said that some other streamers, and not just those in hot tubs, who rely on Twitch revenue could suffer if the company keeps clamping down content it deems inappropriate.