Pull out as a platform, it’s no stranger to controversy, as the massive amount of content creators on the service often makes it difficult to keep track of the massive amounts of drama that ensue. While a streamer’s on-stream behavior is often the source of drama in the form of resulting bans and suspensions, the sponsorship deals a streamer can enter into can also be the source of controversy.
One of the biggest sponsorship-based Twitch controversies recently occurred when many popular streamers were linked to involvement in a Saudi Arabian gaming sponsorship deal. The announcement of these links immediately drew platform-wide criticism and opened up a wider dialogue about the morals and ethics of certain sponsorships that streamers may be associated with.
While many details of the sponsorship deal are unknown, many of the more relevant details are known. The sponsorship in question was offered to many high-profile streamers, and those who accepted the deal would have flown to Saudi Arabia, where they would attend a four-day gaming event rumored to be centered around the popular battle royale title Fourteen days.
Popular Twitch streamer Pokelawls was approached about the sponsorship, and while he chose not to get involved, he did read out some of the contractual commitments to the sponsorship deal. The deal includes many social media clauses, which, for example, require streamers attending the event to publish multiple promotional posts on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Though unconfirmed, it has been hinted that participating streamers would receive six-figure payments from the sponsorship, only adding to the controversy surrounding the deal.
The main source of controversy surrounding the deal stems from the need for streamers to travel to and promote Saudi Arabia, a country that has drawn negative attention from around the world for its human rights abuses in recent years. With Saudi Arabia not complying with the UN’s passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, many argue that accepting this sponsorship deal would result in streamers promoting a regime many believe to be brutal.
One of the most famous streamers involved in this controversy is Mizkif, a Twitch streamer who boasts over 2 million followers on the platform. Mizkif was initially enthusiastic about the sponsorship, believing it was a charity event and a potentially unique experience, but has since changed his mind. Upon hearing the backlash over the sponsorship, Mizkif spoke to another Twitch streamer, HasanAbi, who enlightened Mizkif about the controversy surrounding the Saudi Arabian regime.
Though Mizkif has since stepped down from sponsorship, there are other popular streamers who are reportedly still involved with, or at least affiliated with, the sponsored event. League of Legends Streamer and cosplayer Emiru had reportedly accepted the sponsorship as well, but has since reportedly backed out in a very similar fashion to Mizkif.
Another massive online presence allegedly involved in the sponsored event is Twitch streamer Tfue. Tfue is one of the most successful and well-known Fourteen days Streamer’s alleged involvement in sponsorship gives an idea of the intended scope of the event. At the time of writing, it is currently unknown if Tfue intends to continue his commitment to sponsorships or if he will be swayed to distance himself like his fellow streamers.
As previously mentioned, the allegedly large compensation the sponsorship offers streamers has made it much more of an open moral issue for many who have been following the controversy. If the money in question can potentially be linked to abusive practices, it is understandable why sponsorship is the source of so much dispute within the community Pull out community.
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