It's been a strange few weeks for YouTube.
With the announcement of YouTube Heroes infuriating large portions of the internet and the site's stringent new policies on monitizing content they don't approve of—such as nudity and the use of foul language—impacting on creators, following the old Y-to-the-E for the past while has been... interesting.
But the latest controversial issue that everyone's talking about comes in the form of a self-proclaimed 'bikini streamer' by the name of Zoie Burgher. After being banned from Twitch the umpteenth (fourth) time, she decided to move her content to YouTube, where she's found a ton of hate and even more success.
Meet Zoie Burgher, A Successful Bikini Streamer Turned YouTuber
Zoie knows exactly what she's doing. The majority of streams or YouTube videos start with her presenting herself in suggestive ways and following said display with an effervescent delivery of her catchphrase, "Oh hey, didn't see you guys there!" It's playful; as are her streams, and not just because she plays Call of Duty. Ha... ha.
What generally follows is an interactive game with her streamers. She plays Call of Duty: Black Ops 3—which she is damn good at—and treats herself to a dance, twerk or provocative change of outfit (if not simply the removal of clothing) when viewers send in a certain amount of cash or she scores herself a killstreak. Simple and effective.
On Twitch, Zoie enjoyed a healthy audience of millions. In fact, YouTubers themselves would receive millions of clicks just by reacting to her streams with shock or amusing disbelief. But Twitch attempted to put a stop to this on three occasions by permanently banning her. However, her latest ban is a little different.
Banned for Her "Reputation"
Zoie claims that she hasn't streamed anything on Twitch in over a month since she created a new account. No bikini streams, no nothing. However, a few days ago the website sent her an email stating that her account had been banned. Why? For sexually explicit content. Twitch specifies that streamers cannot show too much skin during broadcasts, much less focus on anything overtly sexual.
Now, Zoie certainly has a history of including sexual content in her streams. She knows it well. However, she claims that, seeing as she hasn't streamed in over a month, there's no justification for a fourth ban. She hasn't done anything and was on her "best behavior" in order to attend TwitchCon this weekend without any trouble. Makes sense.
But since this fourth ban, Zoie decided to take to YouTube in an effort to have her content seen by a few of her fans. Well, turns out a lot of people were willing to watch her stuff.
In the last two weeks the famed bikini streamer of Twitch has accrued over 400,000 YouTube subscribers; as impressive as it is absurd. But since her arrival on the old YT, she's received a variety of responses, as you'd expect. Some people hate her and everything she stands for, some simply enjoy her content, while others commend her tenaciousness and successful model.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on Zoie, her history and the kind of content she produces. A lot of people think she should now be banned on YouTube, seeing as her content doesn't meet the guidelines for that site either. What are we to think about all this?
When she's streaming on YouTube, Zoie is often the most watched. Yes, her content is sexual, but if YouTube are willing to allow her to stream on their site (she certainly can't monitize her videos), then who are we to say she should be banned? Zoie is completely up front about how she presents herself while playing video games. She has no illusions. And the strategy works. Millions of people watch her play Black Ops 3 and a ton send her money. Though that may infuriate some people, a lot of them are subscribing to her channel.
Some have made the argument that because she's the most successful female streamer on YouTube that her content will be indicative of female gamers as a whole. Therefore, people will spread more hate on female gamers because of Zoie. Which is nonsense. You trying to tell me that SayviTV beating Dark Souls 3 bosses blindfolded is comparable to Zoie's work?
And I'm not saying this is superior content, it's simply a different approach by a different personality. Why can't they both co-exist and enjoy an equal amount of hate-free comments and subscribers? We can't stop people from subscribing to content they enjoy and Zoie clearly isn't going anywhere. If people throw hate at gamers like Zoie and Sayvi it's indicative of the person, not the streamer. They're both just creating entertaining content for different kinds of people! No?
I'm excited to see how this story develops, but what's you stance on all this?