Twitch has removed the ability for Kaitlyn “Amouranth” Siragusa, one of the most popular streamers on its platform, to run ads on her videos — even though it’s unclear that she broke any of the site’s rules. Siragusa said in a tweet that it’s because her streams are “not advertiser friendly.”
Siragusa is known for streaming herself chatting and gaming while wearing swimsuits. She’s hugely popular, with more than 20,000 subscribers — putting her among the site’s top 20, according to TwitchTracker. She’s also been the target of relentless criticism because of her appearance, including sexist attacks from Twitch users who argue that the success of some women on the platform is unearned or illegitimate.
This is an ALARMING precedent and serves as a stark warning that although content may not ostensibly break community guidelines or Terms of service, Twitch has complete discretion to target individual channels & partially or wholly demonetized them for
— Amouranth (@Amouranth) May 18, 2021
The advertising ban comes months into what’s become known as the “hot tub meta” on Twitch. It’s become a trend for creators to stream themselves hanging out or playing games in hot tubs or inflatable pools. Siragusa has been a contributor to that trend, streaming from what appears to be a small plastic pool set up inside her home.
But it’s not known why Twitch revoked Siragusa’s ability to run ads — a punishment the site has never doled out before, according to Kotaku. That’s part of what makes this situation so concerning for streamers: Twitch has an explicit set of rules that streamers need to follow to avoid a ban, but there’s no specific rules around who can and can’t be supported by advertising. Twitch allows streamers to appear in swimwear.
Siragusa said on Twitter that she reached out to Twitch after discovering she had lost advertising revenue and was told yesterday that she had been “indefinitely suspended” from running ads. “This is an ALARMING precedent,” she wrote, saying there were no communicated guidelines for why her ad privileges were revoked. “There is no known policy for what results in a streamer being put on this blacklist,” she said.
The Verge has reached out to Twitch for comment.