Twitch Introduces And Then Removes Culturally Insensitive Custom Emotes

In a Twitch blog post now edited to remove the announcement, the platform introduced new customized emote modifiers–which included sombreros, guitars, and rumba shakers–in celebration of Hispanic Heritage month. The exact text from screenshots still floating around reads, “Use a customized sub emote to show support for your favorite Hispanic and LatinX streamer.”

Needless to say, some members of the gaming community thought the images were insensitive cultural stereotypes and cliche depictions of Hispanic and LatinX cultures.

However, shortly after people on the internet criticized Twitch’s poorly thought-out emotes, the blog post was scrubbed of the announcement. Twitch then posted on Twitter apologizing for its actions and the images’ insensitivity. The platform has removed the emote modifiers.

The platform has landed in hot water before for insensitive actions. Twitch’s Black Lives Matter video featured very few Black streamers and mostly featured white streamers, much to the chagrin of Twitter users, who took issue with the fact that Twitch was advocating for Black Twitch streamers, but not showing or promoting any in the video.

Twitch is also currently testing ads that can run in the middle of streams, a move that has so far been highly unpopular among much of Twitch’s audience. Both viewers and streamers have asked Twitch to not move forward with the feature.

In response to replies from concerned Twitch users, the company made sure to emphasize that the new ads are a test, and not permanently implemented. It remains to be seen how Twitch will pacify its user base and keep mid-roll ads.

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