QAnon believers and anti-maskers build new audiences at Twitch, report says

The streaming platform has a new batch of streamers making money from viewers.

Oscar Gonzalez Staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is Texas native who covers video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
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Oscar Gonzalez
2 min read

QAnon supports reportedly found a new place to go. 

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Twitch , Amazon's video game streaming platform , has had its share of streamers who created content too sexualized or too toxic for the company's terms and services. But now there appears to be a new batch of creators thriving on the platform after being banned from other social media networks for sharing QAnon and COVID-denying conspiracy theories.

More than 20 channels streaming far-right ideas and conspiracy theories are on Twitch, according to a report from The New York Times on Tuesday. Some of the streamers are faithful to former President Donald Trump and are spreading the false narrative that he won the 2020 presidential election. Others include QAnon supporters who spread the misinformation that the Democratic party and Hollywood elite are part of a cabal of pedophile Satan worshippers, the report said.

Some of these channels make money from streaming to Twitch through donations from viewers or subscriptions, according to the NYT. 

Twitch says it will take "swift action" against users who violate any of its community policies, which recently changed to include behavior away from the platform. However, a Twitch spokesperson called The New York Times report "sensationalist."

"The story omitted the extensive information we provided detailing our trust and safety policies and approach to these important challenges, and leads the reader to believe that this is an issue that has gone unaddressed by us and is much larger than it is, which is false," the spokesperson said in an email Tuesday. "The New York Times identified a few dozen accounts that appear to be affiliated with far-right movements over the course of their reporting -- out of the 7 million people that stream on Twitch every month." 

Other social media and video platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube cracked down on QAnon content last year and then again following the Jan. 6 insurrection. Twitch says because streaming content doesn't go as viral as other social media platforms, it's approaching the handling differently than other services.