The past few years have not been kind to Twitch and its reputation. The brand has been plagued by problem after problem. Now, a new feature on the platform has added another issue to the already hurting reputation - featured pornography.
Twitch has temporarily suspended its paid stream boosts after users were using it to promote pornographic content. Users quickly noticed the unusual behavior and the tag that said, "promoted by the community." This brought a new problem to the attention of the Twitch community - paying to promote content that is not allowed on the site.
What are Stream Boosts?
Twitch describes standard stream boosts by saying,
Boost this stream is a new Community Challenge where viewers can pool Channel Points to unlock a boost reward. The boost reward promotes your stream to highly visible parts of Twitch. The promotion can help more viewers discover you, your community, and your content.
However, some streamers can also pay to booth their stream - or they could until this week. The feature, called Boost Train, was an evolution of a similar feature that launched in October 2021 and ended shortly after and was also an extension of the Boost this Stream challenge offered by the company. With the feature, the exact same thing would happen: the stream would be made more visible on the platform. This gave streamers the ability to improve their reach without needing the support of the community. Because the community tends to flag content that goes against the site's standards, the only way to quickly attract viewers to an inappropriate stream would be to pay for it.
They say that all technology is eventually used for adult content, and this is no different. In this case, users began to notice that there was featured content that went against the community guidelines - particularly adult content. One of the most notable was a featured thumbnail showing a topless woman on the front page of Twitch. That user was quickly removed from the platform, but others followed in her footsteps.
Now, Twitch has shut down the feature entirely to try to stop the problem. Some streamers who were using the feature correctly are upset about the loss of boosting capabilities. However, many more streamers seem happy that the porn accounts have had their ability to steal focus from more legitimate streamers on the platform taken away.
There is currently no word about whether or not the feature will return at any point in the future, or what it might look like if it does. For now, streamers will just have to do what they've always done - try to provide entertaining content that people actually want to watch and promote it like crazy.