Twitch has faced scrutiny from activists and Twitch itself after a video of a Twitch livestream promoting hate-filled rhetoric went viral.
The video, which was hosted by a woman named Jessica Erikson, was titled, “The End Is Near,” and featured clips of people screaming slurs and chanting the name of white supremacist Robert E. Lee, as well as a cartoon image of a woman holding a Confederate flag and a man standing on top of it.
The stream was then played back at a live audience, where people were told that “the end is near.”
A Twitch representative told Motherboard that the channel has “no tolerance for hateful content,” adding that the company has a zero-tolerance policy against hate speech.
“We are working hard to make Twitch a better place,” Twitch spokesperson Sam Roberts told Motherboards.
But it was soon discovered that the stream was a hoax and the stream itself was not the work of Eriksons.
Eriksen told Motherboarding that she was a Twitch employee, but that she didn’t want to give her full name because she “didn’t want the trolls to know who I am.”
When Twitch’s team realized this, they called her out.
She was “shocked” and “extremely upset,” Eriksan said, and told them that she could not talk to them about the stream without revealing her identity.
Twitch then informed her that it would take action against her.
“They then informed me that if I wanted to continue playing my Twitch stream, I would have to stop saying any of the things that were being said,” she said.
“And they also informed me about a potential ban.
I told them no, that it’s okay, it’s not going to happen.”
Eriksun told MotherBoard that the reason she was not able to speak to Twitch about the incident was because she feared the company would not take action.
“I’m just hoping that they take this as seriously as they would any other case of harassment,” Epps said.
“[They] told me that it was not going on, that they were looking into it and that they wanted to talk to me.
They wanted to know why I was making the threats, and why I said all those things.
And I was like, ‘I didn’t make any of that, that’s all bullshit, I didn’t say those things.'”
Epps also claimed that she got a refund for her $250 purchase of Twitch’s service, but Twitch did not respond to Motherboard’s request for comment.
“It felt like a slap in the face to me,” Ersons said.
Epps is the latest to voice concerns about Twitch’s actions toward her, following the recent incident in which a Twitch representative threatened her with termination for posting a tweet criticizing President Donald Trump.
Ersos tweet was later deleted.
Twitch spokesperson Roberts told The American Conservatives that the organization has a “zero-tolerant” policy against any harassment of streamers, but declined to elaborate.
Twitch’s official Facebook page, however, includes a section for users who feel that they have been “harassed, or who have experienced harassment in the past.”
“We do take these issues seriously, and we work very closely with the community to address any issues that arise, and when we learn of reports of misconduct or abuse on Twitch, we work with law enforcement to ensure that the account owner is held accountable,” Roberts wrote in a post about the account.
“If a user feels that they’ve been harassed, or have experienced abuse in the future, they may file a report with Twitch or the authorities, or they can file a complaint with the FTC.”
Twitch has come under scrutiny in recent months for the number of hate speech and harassment bans that it receives.
A report published in February from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group, found that Twitch’s community moderation team receives about 300 reports a day of harassment and other abuse.
Twitch has also faced criticism for its policies on harassment.
In April, the company suspended one Twitch streamer after he made a video encouraging people to “go to war against America” and encouraged users to “fuck America up.”
Twitch also took a $10,000 settlement over its harassment policies in March after the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against it over a $50,000 suspension for the harassment of Twitch streamers.
Twitch is not the only platform that has faced criticism from its users for its online harassment policies.
In October, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed a civil rights complaint against Twitch for its harassment policy.
In the complaint, the NAACP stated that Twitch has “long been known for their abhorrent harassment policy, and now it appears they’re even worse than they were before.”
The NAACP also asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate whether Twitch’s harassment policies violate the federal Communications Act, the same federal law that governs the internet.
Twitch also had to issue an apology after a complaint was filed against