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Twitch Disbands Safety Advisory Council, Plans to Replace with Streamers

In a surprising move, Twitch, the Amazon-owned game streaming giant, has decided to fire all members of its Safety Advisory Council, a group of nine industry experts, streamers and moderators who have advised on trust issues and security on the market. platform since May 2020. The news was confirmed by sources close to the matter and by documents seen by CNBC.

The board, which was not made up of Twitch employees but rather consultants, was instrumental in guiding Twitch’s approach to issues of trust and safety. According to the company’s webpage, they have been involved in “drafting new policies and policy updates,” “developing products and features to improve safety and moderation,” and “protecting the interests of marginalized groups.”

However, on May 6, board members were informed via email that all existing contracts would end on May 31, 2024 and that they would not receive payment for the second half of 2024. The email, viewed from CNBC, stated that “going forward, the Safety Advisory Council will be made up primarily of people who will serve as Twitch ambassadors.”

Twitch Ambassadors are users of the streaming platform “specifically chosen for the positive impact they have contributed to the Twitch community,” according to the company’s website. The decision to replace the council with ambassadors comes at a time of increased cyberbullying and the spread of misinformation, issues the council has actively addressed.

The termination of the council’s contracts comes amid more than a year of crackdowns and layoffs across the tech industry, particularly in security and ethics teams, which some companies consider cost centers. A year ago, Twitch fired about 50 employees responsible for monitoring abusive, illegal or harmful behavior, according to people speaking to CNBC at the time.

In a statement to CNBC, a Twitch spokesperson said the company brought in “new board members to bring new and different perspectives.” The spokesperson also said that the company has over 180 streamers in its ambassador program and “with this new format we will be able to attract even more voices and perspectives.”

However, Twitch declined to comment on whether the ambassadors would be paid. Previous board members were paid between $10,000 and $20,000 per 12-month period, depending on the length of the contract.

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