An independent investigation into the popular online streaming platform Twitch has revealed several disturbing reports of predatory child behaviour. Approximately 280,000 children were targeted over a period of almost two years.
Reader discretion is advised as this article contains references to child abuse.
The independent investigation, led by Bloomberg, identified mass targeting of children by child predators who allegedly coerce young streamers into performing lewd acts on stream. According to the results, approximately 2,000 users were found to specifically follow younger streamers during the 22-month research period.
Of the nearly 2,000 users, hundreds of them exclusively followed more than 1,000 children’s streamers, which the researchers said indicated “that many exist primarily to catalog, track and manipulate children.”
In an official statement to Bloomberg, Twitch said that “Preventing harm to children is one of our most fundamental responsibilities as a society. We don’t allow children under 13 to use Twitch, and preventing them from using our service to harm you is one of our highest priorities.”
“We know that online platforms can be used to harm children, and we’ve made extensive investments over the past two years to better stay ahead of bad actors and prevent any user who might be under 13 from accessing Twitch,” he continued the statement. . Twitch’s policy, if it investigates potential cases of child predation or grooming, is to notify the appropriate authorities and launch an investigation into the alleged groomer’s “network,” which includes any alternate or non-child accounts with which the accused could interact with.
Twitch has increased the size of its investigative teams in recent years, including partnerships with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Twitch also confirmed that it has “numerous additional updates in development” to prevent and remove children from registering on the platform, as well as increase detection rates of potential predators.
The timing of this report could not have been worse. Twitch is currently in crisis after recently cutting the revenue stream of its top performers, angering streamers worldwide. The discount is so severe (20% after the first $100,000 earned) that many are vocally suggesting switching to YouTube.
Source : nypost.com