In response to an increase in sexist and racist comments in recent weeks, the team behind everyone's favourite world-dominating livestream platform Boiler Room have made it clear that, finally, they'll be taking action against comments of that nature, and going forward will no longer accept behaviour of that kind. According to Gabriel Szatan, editor of BR's online wing, expressions of racism, misogyny, and transphobia will be prevented. They'll do this by hiring people to monitor the comment sections.
So, what exactly happened? It seems like almost every time a woman DJ'd on Boiler Room—or, to be honest, pretty much anywhere online—the below the line conversation would be a heated one, largely focusing around skill, technique, and 'realness'. Most of those conversations were started by men. Well, who else'd do it?
The macho men of the internet like to talk about technical skills, or rather talk about other people's perceived lack of them. Other criteria—flow, narrative, storytelling—go unmentioned. Just this week, Scottish DJ Nightwave's set was inundated with comments about the quality of the mixing from a technical perspective.
However, it's not these sort of comments that'll be deleted in the future, because while it's strange that nobody seemed to have anything negative to say about the mixing skills of the selector who followed Nightwave, DJ Deeon, they aren't openly sexist. Then again, DJ Deeon's a man, so maybe a lack of criticism of his mixing is a given. It seems like blokes don't like gauging other bloke's eyes out if they can do the same to a woman. And, with Deeon, who, like Nightwave, used rough cuts as part of his mixing style, everyone seemed willing to just accept that that was how he was doing things.
What will be deleted are the kind of comments that are notably and definitely offensive, such as those which were posted during mobilegirl's set a few days ago. The Vietnamese-German DJ was insulted with the most sickening kinds of racist and also sexist commentary.
Boiler Room isn't the only platform to have issues with its community. When Barely Legal recently DJ'd in a similar format for Mixmag, people started slavering over their keyboards in the same way. Nightwave calmly reacted to the numerous comments about her mixing skills with humour by the way:
The hate also goes far and beyond the DJs themselves. Boiler Room's audience constantly take to their keyboards to comment on the supposed hot girls in the video stream, discussing their appearance and dance moves. Hopefully not for long, though.