Ninja’s streaming platform war has begun

Eric Abent - Aug 12, 2019, 10:52 am CDT
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Ninja’s streaming platform war has begun

So far, Ninja’s transition from Twitch to Mixer has been a smooth one. There’s been surprisingly little controversy surrounding the fact that one of Twitch’s biggest streamers signed an exclusivity deal with Mixer, but now things have taken a turn and Ninja doesn’t seem to be happy about it.

Before we dive into the whole situation, first let’s go over a little bit of a refresher. On August 1st, popular Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins announced that he was leaving Twitch and would begin streaming on Microsoft’s Mixer instead. He began streaming on Mixer the very next day, and Twitch decided that instead of letting his now-dormant channel just sit there, it would use it promote other Fortnite streamers who were currently live on Twitch instead.

Twitch’s decision was one that made a fair degree of sense, as it could potentially prevent some who came to Twitch in search of Ninja from bouncing over to Mixer. However, things got ugly over the weekend when one of those channels that was being promoted on Ninja’s channel was caught streaming pornography. In the tweet you see embedded above, Ninja apologized for the mix up, even though he had nothing to do with it.

In the video, Ninja explains that he’s been trying to get his Twitch channel “taken down to begin with,” or at least convince Twitch to stop promoting other streamers on his channel. He noted that Twitch doesn’t promote other streams on anyone else’s channel and apologized for the issue. Elsewhere on Twitter, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear responded to Ninja’s video, apologizing for the situation and saying that Twitch has suspended these recommendations while it investigates “how this content came to be promoted.”

Shear also suggested that recommending similar streams on channels that are offline is something that we’ll soon see on a broader scale. “Our community comes to Twitch looking for live content,” Shear wrote. “To help ensure they find great, live channels we’ve been experimenting with showing recommended content across Twitch, including on streamer’s pages that are offline.”

If this feature rolls out to a larger subset of users, Twitch may be opening an entirely different can of worms. It’s hard to imagine a lot of Twitch broadcasters being okay with the promotion of other streamers on their personal channels, and as we’ve seen from this debacle, unless there’s some kind of moderation for those recommendations, things can go south quickly.

In any case, Ninja says that he’s “disgusted” by what was promoted on his Twitch channel, and it isn’t hard to imagine why. We’ll see if these recommendations return anytime soon, but Twitch may want to let things cool down a little bit before it attempts to re-implement them.


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