When Twitch announced they were forming a Safety Advisory Council to oversee their "mission of empowering communities to create together", they probably didn't think it would so quickly descend into a targeted campaign against one of the council’s members.
Steph Loer, who goes by FerociouslySteph on Twitch, has had the usual arsenal of internet rage aimed against her including out-of-context clips, old tweets, and classic transphobia - all weaponised by journalists, who know better, but hope their followers don't, in a desperate attempt to fuel the engagement machine. Full disclosure: It even happened, in some part, on this site.
Steph Loer made some people mad.(Picture: Twitch)
This ironically highlights one of the many issues the council hopes to keep out the Twitch community, reinforcing why the council is needed in the first place.
Let’s be frank, no one at Twitch or anywhere else is taking FerociouslySteph's views on banning in-game chat seriously, and neither should they. FerociouslySteph has, as she has admitted herself, "no power" as one of the eight members of the Safety Advisory Council.
I mean it's in the name, a-d-v-i-s-o-r-y, it's not as one journalist put it, a group of "commissars to help shut down gaming culture".
What is Twitch's Safety Advisory Council?
FerociouslySteph's role and the role of everyone else on the Council is clear - they tasked with providing their "experience, expertise, and belief" to help "inform and guide decisions made at Twitch" with a goal to "promote the safety and well-being" of everyone on the platform.
There are eight members in total comprised of people from inside and outside of Twitch, like Dr Hindujais a Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and streamer Zizaran who hopes to make Twitch's "rules clearer" and help reduce the confusion around bans and suspensions on the platform.
The council has a five-point agenda as laid out in the initial announcement post:
- Drafting new policies and policy updates
- Developing products and features to improve safety and moderation
- Promoting healthy streaming and work-life balance habits
- Protecting the interests of marginalized groups
- Identifying emerging trends that could impact the Twitch experience
This is part of a wider set of "tools, products, and policies" that Twitch is investing it.
Members of the Safety Advisory Council are not employed by Twitch nor do they have authority to make changes to the platform.
Who is on the Safety Advisory Council?
There are currently eight members on the Council. Four streamers and four from outside the world of Twitch, though some have tentative connections to the platform.
- Ben "CohCarnage" Cassell - Partnered Twitch streamer.
- Kason "Cupahnoodle" P,. - Partnered Twitch streamer and Ambassador.
- Steph "FeociouslySteph" Loehr - Partnered Twitch streamer.
- Kjetil Ruden "Zizaran" Kippervik - Partnered Twitch streamer.
- Alex Holmes - Deputy CEO of non-profit The Diana Award.
- Emma Llansó - Director of the Center for Democracy & Technology’s Free Expression Project.
- Dr. Sameer Hinduja - Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University and Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.
- T.L Taylor - Professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT and co-founder and Director of Research for AnyKey.