Twitch approves animal abuse… if you’re popular enough
For quite some time there has been discussion, debate, and even outrage over tech platforms, their terms of service, and the fairness of which they reinforce their own rules. The past few months has had a firestorm of allegations with significantly more social impact than that of Twitch. Highly controversial issues filled with political implication, perhaps I will get into those in future articles, but as for now we will talk about the interesting case of Alinity Divine. Why? Well… because everyone loves cats.
If you are one who pays attention to the content creator scene within the gaming world you may have heard of a popular Twitch streamer known as Alinity Divine. She has been the long standing poster child for allegations of unequal enforcement of Twitches own terms of service (TOS). Recently however. She threw a cat… Yes that is correct, you read that right. Let me type that again in bold because it would look nice in the formatting.
Recently, Alinity Divine has recently found herself
under public scrutiny for throwing a cat.
If any embedded tweet has not loaded properly please refresh
On the stream itself after she tosses her cat with both hands over her head, Alinity begins to mockingly joke how some viewers are likely running to PETA to actively campaign against her. Predictably, that is exactly what happened. Shortly after the clip hit the internet it exploded. PETA itself went to Twitter with a direct appeal to Twitch to remove her from the site completely. In their response they say that “Cats are not props to abuse for views.” This tweet alone has garnered over 100,000 views and 30,000 comments, but this was only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. This was not Alinity’s first run in with controversy, in fact, this was not even her first accusation of animal abuse.
About a year ago she had a full blown controversy PewDiePie where Alinity moved to send a frivolous Copyright Strike against against him for commenting on a clip of hers. PewDiePies fans quickly snapped back causing the internet to revel in the drama. PewDiePie made 2 videos to cover the drama, one of which will be shown later in the article.
Back to the cats…
Alinity has been rough with her cats for entertainment purposes many times on stream. However Observant viewers were quick to splice together the cat throwing clip with an arguably more egregious instance. The video below shows Alinity taking a mouth full of Vodka and forcing it in her cats mouth. I would think it unnecessary to say, but this is potentially very dangerous for animals.
As the views of these clips made their rounds, the conversation changed from initial shock and anger to the perceived unfairness of the enforcement of the rules of Twitch in who does and does not receive punishment. Popular YouTube personality KEEMSTAR along with other content creators weighed in with a string of tweets to point out their confusion / frustration about Twitches enforcement inconsistencies.
As with every internet reaction within the age of “Cancel Culture”, the reactions or calls for her outright banning seemed to be overblown, however, many solid points were made. There seems to be a curious set of glaring inconsistencies.
After about a day of radio silence things took a curious turn.
Alinity sent this message in an attempt to quell any concerns within her own community, however it did little to quell the general reaction. Shortly after this was sent, several claims of Twitch account suspensions over mentioning the Alinity controversy became part of the conversation.
If it was Twitch’s intention to show fairness in their enforcement practices, these actions seemingly missed the mark. The perception, which seems to be the case, is that there are apparently uneven enforcement practices regarding their own TOS where some creators are favored above others. Furthermore, pointing out this inconsistency seemed to be grounds for suspension.
Every day that passed seemed to bolster the claims and frustrations of those complaining, which led to claims of stalking from Alinity. In a Twitter response she says, “Please stop coming to my house and asking my neighbors where I am. It’s actually really scary.”
In a later clip that was since removed from her twitch channel she claimed again that people have been stalking her house and expressed obvious displeasure at the fact saying the stalking was “not cool”. She went on to express that she was fearful for her own safety and kept a bat handy for her own protection.
Since the breaking of the controversy, Alinity has stayed relatively quiet. She took a week off of Twitch while she contacted her local SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to inspect her house and animals.
Ultimately, no evidence of animal cruelty was found, but the perception of unfair or unbalanced enforcement of Twitch’s TOS remain. But this perception is not new and will likely persist, especially if glaring instances like this are not addressed.
Although I do believe that there are clear instances of unequal treatment, part of me believes that is to be expected. I don’t necessarily believe this unfairness is strictly gender based. Leeway generally is given in several instances, either a) You have a personal connection with someone. b) You are a top earner or big spender. Or c) A combination of both. Like it or not, this is just how the world works. Know the bartender? Get a free drink. Know the bouncer? Get in the venue. Know the boss? Get a job. People tend to be more lenient with those they know. Also, people will tend to be more forgiving when they have dollar signs attached to them. Is it always fair? No. Is it understandable? I think so. Having a direct point of contact alone is a huge advantage.
With that said, I do believe that the total silence from Twitch in this case shows a truly glaring example of preferential treatment. There have been similar instances which warranted year bans or longer. Do I believe Alinity should be permanently banned? No. But I do believe a public warning AT THE VERY LEAST is warranted if nothing else. A short suspension would be better if for no other reason than the perception of equality under their own rules. This however is not the case. So as of the writing of this article I honestly believe it is fair to say that Twitch approves of animal abuse if you are popular enough.
As mentioned earlier in the article, PewDiePie and Alinity had a run in a year ago. In one of PewDiePie’s response videos he made some very thoughtful points that I believe hold true to this moment. In case the link fails to start in the desired moment go to timestamp 9:57. Or of course you can watch the whole thing, it is a thoughtful breakdown of a lot of the frustrations with Alinity and Twitch.
And that is that! If you have made it this far, check out this parody song by YouTuber TwizzFizz is a decidedly hilarious depiction of this drama and the general frustrations surrounding it. What are your thoughts? Comment below!