Twitch Responds to Controversy Over Ads for Ninja and Pokimane Events

Twitch issued a statement regarding some controversial ads that supported specific streamers and [...]

Twitch issued a statement regarding some controversial ads that supported specific streamers and said it wouldn't run similar ads in the future.

Two of Twitch's most well-known streamers are Tyler "Ninja" Blevins and Imane "Pokimane" Anys, and both had unique events take place recently. Ninja hosted his New Year's Eve event where the streamer played Fortnite into the new year and unsuccessfully tried to get a crowd to floss while Pokimane hosted her own event during the 2019 Pro Bowl. Both events were made especially visible by Twitch when the streaming service advertised them on other people's streams.

That decision didn't sit well with streamers who wondered why some of the most popular streamers were being advertised on smaller channels. One of the most commonly cited examples of this backlash came from the streamer Sam "Strippin" Thorne who referenced the annoyance from streamers over the ads supporting Ninja and questioned why the same thing was happening again around a month later. The streamer voiced the concerns of many others that these ads could potentially drive Strippin's and other streamers' viewers away to channels which already have a substantial following.

After hearing the complaints over the New Year's event and then from Pokimane's Pro Bowl ads, Twitch issued the statement above and said it removed the Pokimane ad late last week and will refrain from releasing similar ads in the future.

"We always want you to hold us accountable, and we're glad you are here," Twitch's statement said after saying its advertisement campaign had "good intentions" but ultimately caused concern among Twitch streamers. "We removed the most recent ad early Friday and will avoid running advertisements in the future for on-site events and/or creators that potentially drive your viewers to other Twitch channels."

During the Pro Bowl event, Pokimane commented on the controversy regarding the streamer-centered ads and said "companies will advertise how they advertise" and that those decisions weren't always ran by the streamers first. She would go on to name other streamers who were involved with the event and said streamers being integrated into companies' events was a positive move for the streaming industry as a whole.

Twitch concluded its statement by saying it would continue looking for "ways to support all creators on Twitch" and is open to feedback on how to do that.