Pokimane’s main reason for leaving Twitch is ‘the rise of so much manosphere, red pill bull****’

Imane “Pokimane” Anys was one of the most popular streamers on Twitch until this week, when she announced that she’s leaving the Amazon-owned platform and the 9.3 million followers she’s accrued on it. Today, she revealed why. 

In a new episode of her podcast on Spotify, the streamer said that she’d probably still be streaming on Twitch if it weren’t for a rise in “manosphere, red pill bullshit” she sees coming from some of the “most popular and well-established, typically male creators” in the past couple of years.

“Some of the stuff I see them say and do breaks my heart,” said Pokimane.

Over the course of the hour-long episode, the streamer says more on that topic and details a number of other reasons for her departure from Twitch, which comes at the end of an exclusivity contract she had with the platform.

Pokimane says she’s “insanely grateful” to have had that contract, which guaranteed income regardless of viewership, but no longer wants to be exclusively tied to Twitch or any other streaming site. The contracts aren’t as lucrative as they used to be, she says, and she thinks that having a quota for streaming hours can lead to “prioritizing hours streamed versus how good the content that you’re streaming is.”

Now that she has no contract, Pokimane will try out other platforms like YouTube. She says that Twitch’s “messy” management is part of the reason she’s moving on, criticizing its botched rule changes (such as the nudity rule it recently deployed and then quickly walked back), its management of partnerships, its marketing, its moderation, and how it wields bans.

“My priority is making a cool, safe environment and community for many, many, many people,” said Pokimane. “I think there are a lot of problems that minorities on Twitch still face and that I wish they could do more about. I do think they try and I appreciate that a ton. I really do give them credit for that. 

“But girl, it’s 2024. We still got so many of these damn problems. Like when I tell you there are people, viewers on Twitch, who harass and stalk streamers to no end, who have made thousands of accounts … and you can send this information, for years, to Twitch, they can’t do a thing about it. They’re not going to do a thing about it, because they don’t do IP bans.”

Pokimane hopes to now expand her audience and provide better viewer experiences on other platforms, away from Twitch streaming culture, which she cites as the biggest thing driving her away after a bygone period of optimism during her Fortnite and Among Us streaming days.

“During the pandemic there were so many people watching streaming and caring about games,” Pokimane said. “There were so many more girls. There was such diversity in the demographic, and I felt so much more seen and heard. And I was like, ‘Wow, this is what I’ve always wanted for streaming.'” 

Now, however, Twitch has “regressed a lot” she thinks: “Especially with the rise of so much manosphere, red pill bullshit—I feel like that stuff has flourished within the male-dominated livestreaming sphere.”

The streamer now feels that staying on Twitch either means futilely combating “bigotry and shit spewing” from other Twitch streamers, or trying to grow her following by appealing to their audiences, neither of which she wants to do.

“Why are you going to speak against someone with dozens of thousands of followers and stans that are going to go against you and shit down your throat?” she said. “It’s almost like there’s no point expressing your opinion to people that you’re never going to change anyways, you know? 

“And frankly, a lot of them are prepubescent little boys that just need to go through puberty and then they’ll figure it out. You know, like, I don’t want that demographic. I don’t want to take responsibility for them. But it also hurts my brain to see other streamers put such bad ideas into their minds.”

Pokimane reiterates several times that she’s grateful for all the success she’s had on Twitch and appreciates the good parts of the site, but now that her contract is up, she’s excited to explore YouTube, where she sees “much more positive and well-rounded communities than you tend to see on Twitch,” TikTok streaming, where she sees “so much cute, cozy gaming content,” and other platforms.

“I could literally sit on Instagram and talk shit for an hour now and I’ve never been able to do that before,” she said. “Can you believe that I’ve never been able to do that before?”

Pokimane’s hour-long monologue covers other causes for her decision to ditch Twitch, which include something “batshit crazy” she says happened with a Twitch employee, but doesn’t detail, and the experience of being one of Twitch’s “faces.” She also discusses today’s other platforms in more depth, including the controversial, gambling-focused Kick, which she says she won’t be using.

Pokimane’s first-ever YouTube stream will happen on February 1.

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