Tic suspended a channel run by a nonprofit media outlet after showing footage of the incident that led to George Floyd’s death. Unicorn Riot was broadcasting live the trial of Floyd’s alleged murderer, Derek Chauvin, which began on Monday.
A video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine and a half minutes last May has been shown to jurors. Floyd was pronounced dead an hour after the incident. His death caused months of protests in support of racial justice.
Twitch legitimately has rules against serving violent content. It takes acts and threats of violence. The video of Floyd’s death is clearly newsworthy, but unlike , and , Twitch does not grant exemptions for this type of material.
As The edge reports, Twitch deleted footage of Floyd’s death and suspended the Unicorn Riot channel for 30 days. Twitch does not comment on the reasons for the specific channel suspensions. Unicorn Riot was able to stream the trial (and footage from the incident) to its YouTube, Facebook, and Periscope accounts, as well as its website, without any issues.
However, determining what content is newsworthy is a complex question. He’s the one with potential on whether Facebook and Twitter should be classified as platforms or publishers because of their editorial decisions. Twitch has decided to stay completely out of these muddy waters with a blanket ban, but the platform is putting itself in a slightly awkward position compared to rival platforms as it continues to grow beyond game streaming. Banning violent images altogether, even if they are newsworthy, could limit discussion of important issues.