Popular Twitch streamer Imane "Pokimane" Anys was unbanned from Twitch on Sunday night, following her 2-day ban for DMCA violations related to her watching of Avatar: The Last Airbender on stream.
During the introduction to her 12-hour comeback stream, the streamer got back into the swing on things, addressing the ongoing controversy surrounding streamers reacting to television shows that ultimately led to her ban. During this portion of her stream, she called out those who have been calling react streamers lazy, arguing that top streamers all have huge accomplishments that shouldn't be overlooked.
"My issue is basically that I saw it all snowball, to the point people were. . . labeling [streamers] and the whole [react] genre as untalented and lazy," Pokimane said at the start of Monday's stream. "I felt that was sort of unwarranted. While I agree react content is one of the easiest types of content to make, I just felt it was a little unfair to label people as untalented and lazy."
She continued, "So many of the people at the top of the viewership list doing react content have already made amazing achievements. Toast was a main driving force in the Among Us era, the Hearthstone era. xQc streams like 12 hours a day and was a pro player. Miz I think was a cameraman once or something. They have all had great accomplishments. I thought it was a little weird, I was like 'oh, you really think they are just untalented, dumb, lazy?' That is a little far."
While Poki continues to defend streamers who react to other people's content, she reiterated that she believed the punishment for her copyright infringement was both valid and fair. She also said that she hopes one day publishers and livestreamers would be able to collaborate together, so that streamers can one day watch full-length TV and movies without fear of DMCA punishment.
Pokimane's comments about the "react meta" on Twitch come after a weekend filled with discourse about react content. Many streamers and their audiences discussed reacting to TV shows as a form of content, with some like xQc, Hasan, and DisguisedToast continuing to defend the practice, while others like Ludwig and Devin Nash criticized it for being illegal, with Nash and others also calling the content lazy. It was these critics that Pokimane was reacting to when she condemned the usage of the term 'lazy' to describe top 30 streamers who react to shows.
Pokimane was also not the only streamer who received a copyright takedown notice over the past few days. Hasan received a copyright notice on Saturday for watching Gordon Ramsay's TV show Master Chef, though Hasan didn't receive a ban with his copyright takedown notice. That notice brought an end to the Master Chef meta, since it is now clear that Fox will not allow the streaming of the competition cooking show on Twitch. However, even with the warning shots from multiple publishers now, Hasan, xQc, and others have both made it clear that they intend to continue watching other TV shows.
While television watching is likely to remain a common practice on Twitch, even despite the DMCA issues over the weekend, it is clear that larger publishing companies are beginning to take notice of the streamers who are illegally streaming their content to viewers. The TV react meta may not be dead yet, but it is getting more dangerous for streamers, we could very well see expanded enforcement of DMCA in the near future following Poki's ban.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.