Former Twitch VP talks about controversial autohost feature

Former Twitch Vice President Justin Wong has commented on a scandal involving pornographic content on the Fortnite streaming channel of Tyler Ninja Blevins. In his opinion, this incident is the result of a long conflict within the company. In the past, Wong worked with the community and Twitch partners for more than six years, so he knows a lot about the platform’s “inner kitchen.”

Wong explained that when a viewer visits the channel of his favorite streamer and sees that the broadcast is inactive, he will most likely leave the platform altogether. Twitch’s administration wants to reduce this issue. Its priority goal is to give the viewer their desired content and do it as soon as possible. That is why the platform introduced the function of autohosting.

Failed experiment

The former vice president of Twitch noted that the company previously took into account the opinions of its audience. Yet, the situation with the Ninja channel makes us think that this policy could change very soon, since the experiment failed and backfired brutally on the platform. 

Representatives of Twitch called the algorithm a failed experiment. However, according to Wong, this indicates the platform’s plans to gain more control over offline channels. Perhaps in the near future, streamers will not be able to influence what will be broadcast on their channels during offline time. Wong noted that although the administration “brought everything back,” the fact that it conducted an experiment on the platform’s most popular channel in such a “difficult time” indicates that the company wants to continue taking risks.

The saga

After Ninja left for Mixer, Twitch’s administration decided to use his channel to promote other streamers using an experimental algorithm. All visitors to the Blevins page were offered similar content from other providers.

On August 11, a Russian-language stream with pornography, which was watched by almost 15 thousand viewers, was included in this list of recommended channels. Ninja was very angry about this. Shortly after the incident, the Twitch administration turned off the algorithm and returned the channel to its original form.

NInja wants to communicate with the community

Streamer Tyler Ninja Blevins tweeted his phone number. In a short video on a social network, he said that he would receive every message and try to answer as much as he could. If you send a message to his number 312-584-4684, you will be greeted by the words: “Hello, noob, this is Tyler. Yes, it’s true me. Got your message. Make sure you follow the link and save this number so we can chat.” 

The link in the text leads to Community.com. It will request information about personal data (name, gender, and date of birth) and permission to receive notifications from Ninja. The streamer plans to use this platform to send fans messages, images, and videos from behind the scenes. It looks like Ninja wants to keep his name and wants his fans to know about how things work. This is surely a big step forward after all the pornography issues.

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