Twitch cracks down on 'hot tub' star Amouranth over her controversial bikini streams

IT appears that Twitch is finally cracking down on a raunchy new "hot tub" craze that has swept the platform in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, streaming mega-star Amouranth, real name Kaitlyn Siragusa, announced that the site had suspended advertising on her channel following a string of racy broadcasts.

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A post shared by Amouranth | MEMES NINJA (@amouranth)

It means the American model can temporarily no longer make money on her videos, which regularly pull in tens of thousands of viewers.

Amouranth, who is one of Twitch's biggest names with almost three million followers, is a leading force within the hot tub trend.

The livestreams typically involve bikini-clad women chatting to followers for hours at a time from a hot tub or inflatable pool.

"Yesterday I was informed that Twitch has Indefinitely Suspended Advertising on my channel," the web sensation, 27, tweeted on May 18.

A post shared by Amouranth | MEMES NINJA (@amouranth)

"Twitch didn't reach out in any way whatsoever. I had to initiate the conversation after noticing, without any prior warning, all the ads revenue had disappeared from my Channel Analytics."

She branded the ad shutdown an "alarming precedent" that highlights that Twitch has "complete discretion to target individual channels".

She also alleged that her channel was demonetised because it was "not advertiser friendly", rather than because it breached Twitch's guidelines.

Most Twitch creators broadcast themselves playing video games, with fans able to chat with the streamer and send them money.

A post shared by Amouranth | MEMES NINJA (@amouranth)

But the site also hosts other kinds of streams that aren't necessarily about gaming – including some that involve the new "hot tub" trend.

It's been been slammed by some as being a perceived violation of the platform's community guidelines, which specifically prohibit sexually suggestive content.

But the streams have proved enormously popular recently, with some of the biggest hot tub streamers pulling in hundreds of thousands of new subscribers in a matter of weeks.

Some critics say such videos have no place on a platform which skews to younger viewers.

According to Statista, as much as 38 per cent of all Twitch app users in the US last year were aged between 10 and 19.

Twitch's terms and conditions ban "fully or partial nudity" including "the visible outline of genitals, even when covered".

Swimwear is allowed, as long as it "completely covers the genitals and those who present as women must also cover their nipples."

Amouranth said her demonetisation served as a "stark warning" to other pro streamers.

"Although content may not ostensibly break community guidelines or Terms of service, Twitch has complete discretion to target individual channels & partially or wholly demonetized them for content that is deemed 'not advertiser friendly'," she tweeted.

The web star highlighted that "there is no communicated guideline" for ad-friendly content.

Twitch – the world’s biggest streaming site explained

Here’s what you need to know…

  • Twitch is a website dedicated to hosting livestreams watched by millions around the world
  • The platform is owned by Amazon and largely focusses on video game livestreams
  • However, content creators also upload clips of themselves creating artwork or music, or simply having a chat
  • Twitch boasts more than 15million daily active users watching clips streamed by around 3million creators
  • Its creators make money through a mix of paid subscripions, advertising revenue and donations from viewers
  • Some of the site's biggest earners make millions every year, largely through sponsorship deals with big brands
  • Twitch is worth an estimated £3billion
  • Its biggest competitors are Microsoft-owned streaming platform Mixer, YouTube (which is owned by Google) and Facebook Live

"This leaves open-ended the question of where the line is drawn," the Houston native added.

"There is no known policy for what results in a streamer being put on this blacklist.

"With characteristic opacity, the only thing twitch made clear is that it is unclear whether or when my account can be reinstated."

Marcus Graham, Twitch's Head of Creator Development, addressed the hot tub trend directly in a recent livestream.

"Our nudity and attire policy does allow bathing suits in an appropriate context, and hot tubs do fall under that criteria," he said.

“However, what has not changed is the sexually suggestive and explicit content is not allowed under the guidelines, under the [Terms of Service], and Twitch will take action when that is reported to us.”

Amouranth isn't the first streamer whose wrists have been slapped after testing the boundaries of Twitch's terms.

In April, American internet star Supcaitlin was blocked for 24 hours for wearing "inappropriate" clothing during a stream.

The streamer blamed "mass reporting" by viewers for her suspension after she donned a revealing bunny outfit during a show for her 53,000 followers.

Later that month, Twitch starlet Imjasmine was banned from the platform after accidentally exposing herself on camera.

The streamer, who has 220,000 followers, was dazzling fans during a broadcast from a paddling pool when her breasts popped out of her bikini.

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In other news, an American Twitch star has made thousands after live-streaming himself from his bedroom for two weeks straight.

A sleeping man made $16,000 (£11,500) by streaming his slumber on Twitch and charging fans to attempt to wake him up.

And, Netflix is trialling a viewing timer feature that can pause an episode for you if you fall asleep.

What do you make of the Amouranth fiasco? Let us know in the comments!

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