Microsoft’s Mixer Announces New Streamer Review System As Part of Initiative to Combat “Toxicity”
Microsoft's new streaming platform Mixer announced a new Streamer Review System
Many streamers have been making the move to Microsoft’s Mixer recently.
Given the amount of drama and seemingly stagnant growth factor on Twitch, many content creators are looking toward other platforms. (Related: Ninja aka Tyler Blevins Leaves Twitch, Announces He Will Exclusively Stream on Mixer)
Mixer has enjoyed an uptick in growth since Ninja’s shocking jump from Twitch. Features such as integrated co-streaming, simple UI, and an easier path to partnership make the Microsoft owned platform attractive.
One thing Mixer has been praised for previously is its TOS and code of conduct. However, that may change soon. On August 26th, Mixer announced a change to their community pledge:
Starting 9/4, streamers on Mixer will go through our new Streamer Review System to help ensure a safe and awesome time on Mixer! We’ve also got new updates to mod tools like Chat Restrictions & setting custom Catbot levels for Progression Ranks!
— Mixer (@WatchMixer) August 26, 2019
The streamer review system is essentially a vetting system. It is designed to weed out bot accounts, hackers, and trolls.
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Microsoft is implementing “anti – toxicity” initiatives across all its properties, Xbox Live being the most recent. And Mixer previously announced a pledge to combat “toxicity and cyberbullying.” (Related: Xbox Live User Suspended by Microsoft for Gamertag “xxJesusIsLordxx”)
Upon thoroughly reading the updated Mixer community pledge and Xbox Live community standards, there may be cause for concern. The biggest concern is how broad of a spectrum will “hate speech” or “inappropriate” phrases or words fall under? How will this affect streamers with controversial content such as political streamers or religious streamers? (Related: Phil Spencer Announces New Microsoft Initiative Aimed At Promoting Inclusitivity and Safety in Gaming)
Here is Mixer’s rule on hate speech:
“Hate speech is not tolerated on Mixer, under any circumstances.
Any derogatory or insulting comment that is directed at a specific group of people may be considered hate speech.
Any comment perceived by staff to be derogatory or insulting to people based on discrimination, including but not limited to: race, age, sexuality, physical characteristics (such as weight or glasses), gender identity, disability, military service, religion and/or nationality will be considered hate speech.
Breaking this rule is an automatic global ban.”
This can be looked at as overly broad, and possibly problematic.
For reference, there are four tiers of punishment. Punishment starts with written warnings, escalates to global timeouts, then suspensions, and finally a global ban.
Given this system, it could lead to a slippery slope. Make no mistake, cleaning up the cesspool is a good thing in theory. In practice, it is entirely different.
A religious streamer does a bible study. Someone takes offense. Do they get a written warning or global timeout?
A political streamer discusses 2nd amendment rights. A viewer complains. Do they get a global ban?
While it raises some questions, in fairness to Mixer, the platform is more orderly than Twitch.
Mixer is doing everything in its power to avoid any of the incidents and bad PR that Twitch has endured for the past year. While one can applaud Mixer for having standards, the question needs to be asked, how far is too far?
In my opinion, prospective Mixer users should research the platform fully. Make an informed decision on where to launch your content creation career.
What do you think readers? Please share below.