Ban “Non Inclusive” Voice Chat, Suggests Twitch Advisory Council Member

Amazon’s Video game streaming platform Twitch annouced a new Safety Advisory Council on May 14 though a blog post. The group is composed of Online Safety Experts, Anti Bullying advocates and Twitch Streamers to help improve safety on the site, protect interest of the marginalized groups and promote healthy work-life balance among streamers.

The eight person group consists of four twitch partners: CohhCarnage, Cupahnoodle, FerociouslySteph & Zizaran. One of the members, FerouciouslySteph, came under heavy fire from Streaming and online gaming community for advocating that Voice chat should be removed since it is “Non Inclusive”.  

During a May 14 Broadcast FerociouslySteph said “The only way to have a level playing field for the highest level of play is to not have voice-chat, to not have people give up their linguistic profiles”. She Further went on to add, “If you are a competative gamer, competition requires you to get every advantage possible. To become top 0.01 percent in any video game you have to squeeze any amount of advantage you can possibly get. Voice Chat is Unfair. Period.”

As expected the broadcast immediately drew the ire of online gaming community. Even some from within the Streaming community came forward to speak on the issue. Famous World of Warcraft streamer Asmongold tweeted “I’ll admit I’m skeptical of the Twitch Safety Advisory Council I hope it will make the platform better I worry that it will either be a tool for ppl on the council to assert their personal agendas or that the ppl on it will end up getting blame for things they didnt do”. In another Tweet he said “It seems like a big mistake for them to have her on the council From the clips and content I’ve seen, it will only serve to discredit the entire effort”.

FerociouslySteph responded to the online criticism saying, “Oooo yeah whole lot of people with cis-white-male voices thinking voice chat is critical to competitive games being competitive. Tell me more about how we’ll solve systemic misogyny and everything will be fine~ lol”.

FerociouslySteph has been an advocate of banning voice chat in online video games for a long time. Way back in Jan 2018 she suggested publishers be aware that “adding voice chat to your game is anti-inclusivity”.

Twitch has not responded on the matter yet, although in FerociouslySteph’s bio on the advisory council blog they described her as “One of the first transgender streamers to ever be partnered on Twitch, and the first to bring a transgender pride flag emote to the platform. Her fight for inclusivity includes creating a competitive team composed entirely of marginalized gamers, and vehemently opposing non inclusive mechanics such as voice chat“, Indicating that they are aware of her opinion and are supporting it.

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