Porn, ‘Game of Thrones,’ and Christchurch shooting footage floods Twitch (updated)

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Twitch isn’t simply used for gamers and content creators who just want to chat to with hundreds or thousands of their followers. In some cases, it’s been inundated with videos of mass shootings, pirated movies, and plenty of porn.

As reported by Motherboard, the gaming space devoted to the unpopular game Artifact, which had previously become a network of memes since hardly anyone was actually paying attention to the game, took a darker turn this past weekend. Instead of light-hearted memes, people began using the Artifact tag and streaming footage from the New Zealand mosque shooting, Game of Thrones episodes, and straight-up porn.

“On Sunday, one user streamed footage of the Christchurch attack,” Motherboard reported. “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 toward Muslims.”

According to Twitch’s terms of service, all of it is punishable for users who are uploading the content.

Included are rules against extreme violence (“Content that exclusively focuses on extreme or gratuitous gore and violence is prohibited,” Twitch writes) and for porn (“Nudity and sexually explicit content or activities, such as pornography, sexual acts or intercourse, and sexual services, are prohibited”).

Copyright infringement is also punishable. Writes Twitch, “You should only share content on Twitch that you own, or that you are otherwise authorized to share on Twitch. If you share content on Twitch that you do not own or otherwise do not have the rights to share on Twitch, you may be infringing another person’s intellectual property rights.” According to Twitch, that includes “showing movies, television shows, or sports matches.”

This isn’t the first time Twitch has been used to stream something that violates the terms of service. Aside from various streams that involve nudity or racism, Twitch also plays host to illegal streams of combat sports PPV telecasts.

Last summer, for instance, it was revealed that more than 1 million viewers watched pirated streams of the KSI-Logan Paul YouTube boxing match. In fact, Twitch users outnumbered those who paid $10 to watch it via YouTube.

On Reddit, though, many users seemed to love the idea of watching movies like John Wick and Avengers: Infinity War on Twitch while having the ability to chat with fellow fans in real time.

Twitch did not immediately respond to a Daily Dot request for comment on Tuesday morning.

Update 5:43pm CT, May 28: Twitch made a statement on Tuesday afternoon addressing content uploaded with the Artifact tag that violates the platform’s terms of services.

“Over the weekend we became aware of a number of accounts targeting the Artifact game directory to share content that grossly violates our terms of service,” Twitch said. “Our investigations uncovered that the majority of accounts that shared and viewed the content were automated.”

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Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.