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Twitch CEO apologizes after lengthy porn stream promoted on Ninja's old page

Twitch CEO Emmet Shear now says that a now-suspended experimental feature was to blame for the promotion, but notes that “it should not have happened. No excuses.”

Over the weekend, someone took it upon themselves to broadcast pornographic content on Twitch and mark said stream with the Fortnite tag. But, because of a recent shuffle in the streaming world, Twitch then promoted that stream to viewers visiting the former channel of one of the platform’s biggest names.

Twitch CEO Emmet Shear now says that a now-suspended experimental feature was to blame for the promotion, but notes that “it should not have happened. No excuses.”

It is worth noting that this is the second big porn-related snafu Twitch has endured in recent memory, following the prolific string of pornographic broadcasts labeled as Artifact streams back in May. That last incident resulted in a lawsuit from Twitch against the unknown parties that flooded the site with inappropriate content from multiple accounts.

This time, the recommendation feature partly responsible for the promotion is something that Twitch enabled shortly after Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a previously-major streamer on the platform, announced that he had signed an exclusivity deal with Microsoft’s competing platform Mixer at the beginning of the month.

Blevins former Twitch page suddenly displayed recommendations for a dozen other popular Fortnite streams on Twitch, something now Shear says is a feature the company is experimenting with but seemed to only be active on Ninja’s abandoned page at the time.

Because of that, and a seeming moderation lapse, another Twitch user was able to broadcast pornography on their own channel for multiple hours, label the footage as a Fortnite stream, and have it heavily promoted on Ninja’s vacant page over the weekend, prompting a public apology from Blevins and, later, Twitch’s CEO.

“Our community comes to Twitch looking for live content. To help ensure they find great, live channels we’ve been experimenting with showing recommended content across Twitch, including on streamer’s pages that are offline,” tweeted Shear. “This helps all streamers as it creates new community connections. However, the lewd content that appeared on the @ninja offline channel page grossly violates our terms of service, and we’ve permanently suspended the account in question.”

Shear goes on to note that the feature has been suspended “while we investigate how this content came to be promoted,” and offered an apology to Blevins that has old page was used to promote inappropriate content.

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