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Twitch Falls from Grace
By: Jessica Cherok
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Twitch used to be the most awesome of streaming services, but it’s now falling from grace thanks to changes to its services, and mostly because of how poorly it communicated the changes to users prior to their happening.

Now, whenever Twitch recognizes third-party music, it mutes the video content. This angered many of its 45 million monthly gamers, who use Twitch to “broadcast, watch, and learn about gaming.” These 45 million users cannot save their broadcasts indefinitely. In fact, the length now depends on their user status. This changes don't just affect their broadcasts going forward, but all of the previous content will be deleted as well.

Users will have time to export their data, and up to two hours of broadcasts can remain on Twitch, but many users are angry. And while the content storage has made many upset, it’s the muting of audio that has really sparked backlash.

Music belonging to third parties will trigger a 30-minute muting of the video-on-demand. Twitch touted the muting as their way of protecting its users. In a Reddit session, Twitch said it “isn’t willing to run the risk someone’s life gets ruined over this.”

In other words: the muting protects against copyright infringement.

However, the recognition system isn’t perfect, and many users are finding their legitimate broadcasts to be muted. Twitch states that while the system isn’t perfect, it is necessary.



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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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