Twitch Marketing Promo Over Golden Emoji Goes Horribly Wrong After DMCA Nuclear Strike

from the not-the-time dept

Mere days ago, we discussed the bonkers path Twitch chose for itself in dealing with a flood of DMCA takedowns issued by the RIAA. The whole episode screamed of panic. Rather than dealing with DMCA takedowns via the normal method -- taking down the content, providing the content maker with a path for a counternotice, and then putting the content back if no lawsuit was filed -- , Twitch, instead, took the extraordinary action of simply and permanently nuking the videos in question. It then, rather brazenly, informed the content maker it had done so and advised them to "learn about copyright law." In fact, given its actions, there is some question as to whether or not this is all enough to have lost Twitch its safe harbor protections.

Regardless, it would be an understatement to suggest that this pissed off the Twitch community. The public backlash was both swift and severe, with content producers openly wondering if it was time to march off to a different platform entirely. Well, the very next day, Twitch began teasing a new offering coming in November and promoted this tease by releasing a sought after emote to all Twitch users.

Yesterday, Twitch took to teasing something that’s happening on November 14 (likely a digital convention called GlitchCon), as though everything is right as rain and not a corporate-friendly garbage fire. Twitch tweeted out a video that said “There’s a place where all Kappas are golden” and then temporarily turned all Kappa emotes gold.

For perhaps as long as Twitch has existed, there has been a myth: On exceedingly rare occasions, if the stars align perfectly, the ever-popular “Kappa” chat emote will turn gold. Some have suggested that a single Twitch user receives golden Kappa abilities every 24 hours. Others believe you have to fulfill highly specific prerequisites in order to unlock it. Yesterday, out of the blue, Twitch gave it to everybody. Twitch streamers and viewers, in turn, did not give a shit, because they were too busy recovering from the DMCApocalypse.

It was actually worse than streamers and users not giving a shit. This fully angered people, given Twitch's actions merely hours earlier. Streamers ran to Twitter and elsewhere to congratulate Twitch on its completely tone-deaf attempt to win over users with an emote, while others noted that Twitch had some serious communicating to do with the community and "shiny emotes" ought not have been on the agenda. Others once again wondered allowed if Twitch was the right platform on which to stream.

“Twitch gets slammed by the music industry, meanwhile they changed all the Kappas to gold, maybe in the hopes we all forget about how terribly the company has been running,” said Rocket League pro Lethamyr. “I think it’s nearly time to stream live on YouTube.”

And its not as though Twitch's extreme actions have even gotten the RIAA and its comrades off of the platform's back. Instead, various industry groups released a letter still complaining that Twitch wasn't doing enough on the copyright front and was mismanaging its Soundtrack by Twitch feature, which is supposed to help streamers use authorized music.

In other words, in a world where Twitch was presented with the choice of siding with its own content creators and users, or the copyright industry associations, it took the bold step of managing to piss off everyone instead. That it thought that golden emojis would somehow either stave off criticism of the platform, or at least be received without this resulting anger, seems to indicate that there are some very out of touch folks running this company at the moment.

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Filed Under: copyright, dmca, golden emoji, marketing stunts
Companies: twitch


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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 1 Nov 2020 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How much of Youtube's success and ability to survive was due to being bought out by a company with piles of money to spend though, such that they could no longer just sue it into oblivion and had to look for easier targets? It's one thing to go after a small company where you can just outspend them such that they have to fold, like what happened with Vimeo, another thing entirely to go after one backed by a company that's got more money than you do.

    Regarding the 'not the best but recoverable' idea while the parasites seem to have dropped the direct attacks even now they're still trying to kill the platform via laws to impose liability, so it's questionable how much they really gained from trying the appeasement route other than maybe some breathing room, given as far as I can tell the only 'thanks' Google/Youtube gets is whining that they've shown that they can take down copyrighted works so they should be required to do even more.

    As SDM noted when you're dealing with a group that sees your product/platform as an existential threat and therefore something that needs to be destroyed you're not dealing with someone who is going to be willing to compromise and leave you be if you just give them 'enough', because they want you gone or effectively under their control and will accept nothing less.


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