Twitch responds to streaming community, takes down Amazon's anti-union ads

Source: Vice / Erik McGregor


Twitch has responded to outraged content creators who demanded Amazon's anti-union ads be removed from the platform. 


It was pointed out earlier this week that Amazon was running ads in opposition to the warehouse workers who have continued their unionization efforts in Alabama. Twitch streamers were not able to control if this ad popped up during their broadcasts, even if it was not something they believed in. 


"We really don't need anyone coming in and telling us what they want to give us. Basically, we have everything we need here. This is the only place I've seen that has benefits from day one," one woman in the Amazon ad said. 


The ad was in response to the 5,800 warehouse workers in Alabama who fought for the right to vote on their right to join the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union. This is the first unionization vote Amazon has ever seen since 2014. The unionization aims to fight the large corporation's reportedly tough and underpaid conditions. Votes are being counted at the end of March. 



One Twitch partner stated that Amazon running "anti-union propaganda" is "heinous and beyond despicable." They vowed to not run ads on their stream until Twitch removed them. Other streamers joined in by not running ads on their channel and encouraging Twitch viewers to use adblock. That means more "Purple Screen of Death," but for many it was worth it. 


Twitch was running the Amazon ads mostly in Alabama, where the union efforts were underway. They showed up before and during streams for viewers that lived in the southern state. The targeted nature of the Amazon ads made many streamers even angrier at their blatant purpose. 



Twitch told Kotaku that Amazon's ads had no place on their platform, despite Amazon being their parent company. 


In an email, a spokesperson said: "Twitch does not allow political advertising." 


In response, Twitch has removed the ads and are now evaluating their review process. This will ensure that similar content is not able to run on Twitch in the future. The spokesperson thanked the community for bringing the ad to their attention. 


Even though Amazon has continued to put anti-union propaganda all over the warehouse and its bathrooms, the messages are no longer allowed on Twitch. 


Said RWDSU's president Stuart Appelbaum: “I feel we had no choice, that we had to go after Amazon. Amazon is transforming industry after industry. It’s going to determine the future of work. We cannot afford to have Amazon create a work environment that is dehumanizing and that prevents workers from asserting their right to have a safe workplace.” 

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