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Twitch Flooded with Streams of 'Game of Thrones', Porn, and the Christchurch Attack Video

After no one watched streams for Valve-created game Artifact, some users started their own meme streams. Then other content seeped in.

by Joseph Cox
May 27 2019, 12:53pm

Image: Shutterstock

Trolls have flooded a section of gaming streaming platform Twitch with porn, the latest season of Game of Thrones, and footage from the recent Christchurch attack, in which a white supremacist murdered over fifty people.

The news highlights how content moderation issues aren't just limited to social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, but others that cater to specific communities as well.

In April, various outlets reported that the Valve-created digital card game Artifact had become one of the least popular games on Twitch: on a number of days, no one watched streams of the game at all.

In the wake of that, some Twitch users created their own unrelated streams and tagged them as relating to Artifact, technically spiking up the game's Twitch viewership. These streams typically contained innocuous memes.

But over the Memorial Day weekend, the videos streamed to the Artifact section of Twitch changed from memes to something else.

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A screenshot of the stream of the Christchurch attack footage on Twitch. Blur added by Motherboard. Image: Screenshot.

On Sunday, one user streamed footage of the Christchurch attack. Motherboard confirmed the stream did contain the real, raw footage of the attack, including when the attacker shot and killed victims. Comments alongside the video included hate speech directed towards Muslims. The channel that streamed the video is no longer available on the site.

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A screenshot of the stream broadcasting Game of Thrones. Image: Screenshot.

Other streams included pornography, and copyrighted and likely pirated content, such as the latest season of Game of Thrones.

Do you know anything else about content moderation on Twitch? You can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, OTR chat on jfcox@jabber.ccc.de, or email joseph.cox@vice.com.

Twitch allows users to report others who violate the site's community guidelines.

At the time of writing, the streams appear to have largely shifted back to memes, though one streamer is playing an episode of the cartoon Tom and Jerry, another is playing an episode of The Sopranos, and another is playing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, did not respond to a request for comment.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.