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Why Everyone Loses with the New Twitch Fart Meta Phenomenon? [Explained]4s SHARES70 Vk i VIEWSShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on WhatsappAdvertisment

You may have missed it, but Twitch’s hot tub concept has been replaced with farts, which sounds less like Twitch and more like a bizarre ’00s game show on Bravo, where the player either wins a hot tub to take home or is forced to smell some farts. They’d call it a Hot Tub or a Fart, because who needs creative branding with such a concept? Additionally, it serves as an introduction statement, demonstrating to my family once and for all that the work I perform is extremely sincere and serious.

When it came to hot tubs, I was unequivocal: we all needed to shut up. Conversation surrounding the hot springs rapidly became nasty, and no one seemed to have anything helpful (read: non-sexist) to say. I had concerns about the hot tubs and what they indicated for Twitch’s future direction in general, but as the conversation never went beyond “these thots don’t play games,” I had little interest in interacting with it beyond telling people to shut up.

It’s not the same with the fart meta. Here’s a brief rundown of what’s going on. The hot tub meta was straightforward: it featured people (typically women) in hot pools. Aside from that, the majority of the streaming was easy. Because of the water, gaming didn’t happen very often, but there were a number of Just Chatting streams, which featured, well, just chatting, as well as make-up, tarot cards, and other innocuous stuff. There were a few odd ones, which I’ll get to later, but for the most part, it was standard stuff, but in a hot tub, since the algorithm preferred hot tubs, and as a streamer, you have to listen to the algorithm occasionally.

All the rights belong Gto the originayel creator of the content

For one thing, the fart meta is an ASMR meta – that is, unlike the hot tubs (which were simply hot tubs), the fart meta is more than just farts. I assure you that this is a legitimate job. Anyway, ASMR has been around for a while on Twitch – it’s all about calming noises like whispering into the mic, chatting or breathing gently, jangling keys, or crinkling foil. It isn’t clear, but it seems to help certain individuals relax. The fart meta is so named because, while it appears to be ASMR, it is plainly separate from the typical ASMR meta in that it makes everything sexual and odd. During the emergence of the fart meta, Amouranth and IndieFoxx were both banned for their actions, which included farting into the mic (obviously), licking the mic, and, in one case, dressing up as Spider-Gwen, yet with a horse’s head on, leaping on the bed, and pounding the horse mask into the mike. No, I’m not making this up.

It’s odd to believe that we live in a world where farting is considered more erotic than hot baths, but we do. On one prominent pornographic website, fart films outweigh hot tub vids six to one (Ed: how do you know this, Stacey?). Twitch previously stated that being perceived as sexy was not against the rules when it established a category for hot tub broadcasting, but this is a very different matter.

I indicated before that there was some strange behavior while the hot tub streams were running. That was handled when the hot tub category was introduced, but it bears repeating. In addition to the harmless fun of the broadcasts, some artists would write the names of viewers on their semi-naked bodies in return for payments, and while seeing someone lounge and speak tarot in a hot tub is to say the least unusual, no one is injured. But when women agree to write the names of their anonymous viewers – many of whom may be children still learning about the world’s sexuality – on their bodies, it becomes more sinister. Of course, there is plenty of stuff on Twitch that children should not be participating in, from the games streamed to the discussion, but such things can – in principle, at least – be monitored against. Twitch is completely unprepared for this new path.

All the rights belong Gto the originayel creator of the content

Twitch’s ability to empower creators to form communities and parasocial interactions is both its finest and worst feature. You’re not friends with Ninja, Shroud, or Pokimane; you’re not even buddies with the 100-follower streamer you regularly watch. You are the audience, and they are the performers. It may link individuals and help them get through terrible times, but it can also be exploitative. It appears that offering to write someone’s name on your body for money is more of the latter.

This is where Amouranth and IndieFoxx’s parody of the ASMR tag comes in. Even when their behavior isn’t overtly sexual, their content in these streams is intended for sexual satisfaction. Amouranth used the ban to promote her OnlyFans page on Twitter. IndieFoxx, on the other hand, advertised hers in her Twitter name and pinned Tweet and used the ban to flirt with Amouranth. We can discuss whether or not sex work is genuine labor another day (it is – debate finished), but we really need to look at how it is infiltrating Twitch. As the most popular streaming platform in the world, and it has strict rules regarding explicitly sexualised content, but many streamers are exploiting loopholes, either by getting away with ‘not quite sexual enough’ content or by exploiting Twitch sexualised controversies to promote their OnlyFans pages. Twitch is extremely popular with children, is entirely unprepared for censoring sex work-related content, and is plainly not the place for such stuff, no matter how valid it may be on other sites.

All the rights belong Gto the originayel creator of the content

It’s also extremely detrimental to real streamers – this isn’t the type of video that the ASMR category generally generates, and with many on Twitch already viewing the site as mostly for gaming, Amouranth and IndieFoxx aren’t helping the cause. It’s not only ASMR streamers who are affected; anybody, but especially anyone from a minority group who creates any form of video or art that isn’t completely gaming-based, is more likely to be teased and harassed as these fake sexual metas continue to take over the headlines.

When I covered the hot tub streamers, I ignored the claim that they were making things difficult for other streamers, who would now suffer abuse from trolls encouraging them to go in the hot tub. In that situation, it was all down to the trolls being nasty little trolls; the streamers in the hot tub, except those ‘extraordinary’ ones writing things on their bodies, bore no responsibility. Amouranth and IndieFoxx are definitely attempting to be contentious this time. They are purposefully making things difficult for other broadcasters in the goal of generating extra income from the issue and funneling it via one of their numerous social networks.

All the rights belong Gto the originayel creator of the content

Along with the increase in sexual material, these bans highlight the poisonous views of many people on Twitch. xQc, the world’s 12th most popular streamer, has regularly called out the hot tub streaming and the fart meta, but it’s the way he does it – particularly the hot tub streams – that makes Twitch so unsettling for many people in the first place. Those who are being trolled as a result of this are being damaged, not helped, by xQc’s mentality, which makes it acceptable for viewers to the gatekeeper and verbally abuses any streamers they don’t like, which predominantly tend to be women. If you’re a woman who doesn’t utilize Twitch to game, the sexism is likely to be even worse. This is xQc, a man who was kicked out of the Overwatch League for homophobia, one of 0.006 percent of players in history to be permanently banned from League of Legends for toxicity, and a man who has previously been banned by Twitch three times for displaying sexual content on screen.

There are no winners here. Amouranth and IndieFoxx appear to be the greatest winners, demonstrating how ineffectual these bans are when the most famous broadcasters can utilize them to enhance their brand. Twitch is evolving quickly, and although I don’t believe it should always be for gamers, I also don’t believe it should be for ladies in Spider-Gwen catsuits with horse masks on farting into the mic. Isn’t there a happy medium?