[Original article:] While Twitch is known for top live-streamers to broadcast some of the latest and greatest games, and oftentimes will use the platform for charity drives, there are sometimes moments where charity fraud takes place, but many of the top gaming sub-reddits don’t want that aspect of the service exposed.
Reddit user Nerdorable made a post recently on the Twitch sub-reddit about half a decade worth of charity fraud committed on the Twitch.tv platform that hasn’t been addressed with any sort of clear-cut guidelines.
A snippet of the issues that Nerdorable raises was explained in the summary, which reads…
“[…] After 5 years of promoting itself as a platform for charitable giving, Twitch has no fundraising or charity guidelines for Broadcasters, and the misleading “charity” tag can be applied to any channel without any stated restrictions from Twitch or disclosures to donors, regardless of where charitable funds are going. Twitch has, in at least one instance, refused to provide donors with necessary information to confirm the charitable solicitations published on a Partnered channel, even when a direct collaboration was alleged between Twitch and a registered charity regarding the channel’s revenues. Twitch has failed to address foreseeable and preventable avenues of fraud that expose millions of donors to negligent, deceptive, unethical, predatory, and fraudulent fundraising practices by Broadcasters and contracted Twitch Partners. […]”
This is true that there are no guidelines relating to charity streams on Twitch’s Community Guidelines page.
In fact, the word “charity” never even appears. They talk about prohibited content, illegal content, hateful content, along with nudity and sexual content, but nothing about charity fraud.
The post is extremely lengthy, and thorough as far as covering Twitch’s lack of policies regarding charity drives, donations, and qualifications, as well as the company’s lack of any enforcement for streamers following through with donations.
Typically most people would say, “Well, why not ask Twitch directly about the legitimacy of donations?”. Well, Nerdorable did. What was the Twitch charity team’s response? They stated the following regarding whether or not streamers followed-through with donating to their respective charity…
“We are unable to comment on another user’s account details for privacy reasons. If you have questions concerning how your potential donation would be handled by the creator seeking donations, then please ask those questions directly of the creator.
“As an Affiliate or Partner, you may choose to donate the revenue you have earned on Twitch to a charity of your choosing. Twitch does not process this donation for you, and you are responsible for ensuring your fundraising activities comply with all applicable laws.”
One user in the Reddit thread ran to Twitch’s defense, noting that while the company has no official charity policy in place, they did – back November 20th, 2018 – post a tweet that suggested “Best Practices” for charity causes. You can view the tweet below.
— Twitch Charity (@TwitchCharity) November 20, 2018
As noted in the Reddit, though, this “Best Practices” suggestion can’t be found anywhere on the Community Guidelines page and there’s still no policy in place to prevent charity fraud.
But to make matters worse, the whole issue of Twitch’s lack of enforcing or reducing charity fraud, has been scrubbed from the other major gaming sub-reddits.
When attempting to post the topic on /r/Games/, /r/gaming/, and /r/PCGaming/, Nerdorable was promptly told that it wasn’t gaming related, even though Twitch live-streamers playing games for charity involves video games.
A collage of the moderator responses to Nerdorable can be viewed in the image below.
As noted in the image, /r/PCGaming/ had a thread about the lawsuit between Gearbox Software and a former lawyer being dropped, which also isn’t gaming related. However, the moderator used the excuse that Gearbox Software was a gaming company, and therefore the post was allowed.
However, after some deliberations and back-and-forth, to the credit of the /r/Games/ moderators, they did allow for a cross-post from /r/Twitch/ to discuss the issue.
The very first comment is from a pro-censorship, pro-corruption lackey who stated the following.
What’s absolutely hilarious about it is that There have been a number of posts on /r/Games/ about Twitch that had nothing to do with a specific game, and was either about the platform or the streamer. In fact, if you do a general search you’ll see that there are a number of posts about Twitch, some of which are completely unrelated to games.
Again, to the credit of the /r/Games/ moderators, at least they did allow a cross-post on the sub. The others, however, were less accommodating for exposing Twitch’s lack of enforcement on curbing corruption.
This is despite the fact that /r/gaming/ has posts about Amouranth, about Mixer and Twitch streaming services, someone becoming an affiliate on Twitch, and a post about Twitch not being consistent in how they apply their rules and bans. That’s just to name a few that aren’t specifically about games.
It’s not much better on /r/PCGaming/, which also has a number of posts about Twitch unrelated to video games, such as Ninja leaving Twitch for Mixer, or harassment of female Twitch streamers, or Twitch being used to gauge popularity versus using Google Trends, or a PSA from Twitch about user security.
There are plenty of non-gaming related posts about Twitch on the other subs, but it’s obvious the moderators selectively pick and choose what to allow. Specifically they don’t allow corruption news about companies, but this goes all the way back to the 2014 #GamerGate fiasco, where leaked moderator chat logs revealed that moderators on Reddit work together to stifle news or information about corruption happening within the gaming industry.
It usually requires a lot of poking and prodding to get certain posts through that expose a general failing of a company or outlines their lack of dedication for addressing corruption.
In any case, Twitch’s lack of policy enforcement (or having any policy at all) for charity streams at least received a small bit of the spotlight… for now.
(Thanks for the news tip Rainy)