clearn.png
Wednesday July 15th, 2020 4:20AM

AP Explains: Meet Twitch, Amazon's live-streaming video site

By The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — The attacker who killed two people in a shooting at a German synagogue live-streamed his assault on Twitch, a video service owned by Amazon. It was one of the first violent attacks streamed on the service, which is best known for letting people watch others play competitive video games.

Here's what you need to know about Twitch.

WATCHING PEOPLE PLAY

Twitch is a site where people can livestream video games as they're playing, usually providing tips and commentary while others watch. The platform has boomed in popularity over the last few years, and played a key role in boosting the spread of "esports," or competitive video gaming.

Popular Twitch gamers can have millions of followers. The platform itself has more than 100 million monthly users.

NON-VIDEO GAME VIOLENCE

The German shooting may have been the first real-world violent attack livestreamed on Twitch. The company said it found and took down the video with "urgency" and said it was "shocked and saddened by the tragedy." But the video, which has since spread to other corners of the internet, is reportedly 36 minutes long.

Twitch said only about five people saw the livestream, but 2,200 viewed the finished recording of the video for the next 30 minutes until Twitch took it down.

Twitch has faced other complaints in the past — largely from female gamers who say they have been harassed on the site, echoing an undercurrent of sexism that has long been an issue in gaming culture. It has policies in place against hateful conduct and harassment and asks users and streamers to report inappropriate conduct.

The attack in Germany echoed a March assault in Christchurch, New Zealand, when the perpetrator live-streamed his attack on Facebook. The social network subsequently said it was working on restricting some users who had previous violations from using Facebook Live as well as continuing to develop artificial intelligence technology that can detect edited violent videos to prevent them from being re-shared.

It's hard to guess why Twitch was chosen this time, said Hannah Bloch-Wehba, a law professor at Drexel University. She noted it is possible that Twitter and Facebook's attempt to crack down on such material may be discouraging people from trying to stream violence there.

Internet companies have pledged after each attack to work on preventing such livestreams from happening again, including by advancing artificial intelligence to catch such videos. Bloch-Wehba is skeptical that those efforts alone will entirely halt the problem.

There's an argument that the big companies should be doing a lot more, said Justin Brookman, the director of consumer privacy and technology policy for Consumer Reports.

"Companies definitely need better legal incentives to police their platforms from abuse," he said.

Twitch said it found evidence the video was shared in messaging services outside the platform. It shared a copy, or "hash," of the video with other tech companies so they could try to halt the spread of copies on their own sites.

HOW TWITCH GREW

Seattle tech giant Amazon bought Twitch for $970 million in 2014. It had already attracted a critical mass of video-game streamers, and remains the default place to watch gamers play.

It also has drawn competitors such as Microsoft-owned Mixer and Google-owned YouTube, which have angled for a slice of that business. Mixer even poached one of Twitch's star gamers , a Fortnite player known as Ninja, in August.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Technology News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
10-spot: Cardinals score 10 runs in 1st inning vs Braves
The St. Louis Cardinals have scored 10 runs in the first inning of decisive Game 5 of the NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves
5:51PM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: One planned power shut-off pushed back
An estimated noontime power shut-off for Oakland has been pushed back to 8 p.m. Wednesday after utility officials said wind gusts had not reached problematic speeds yet
5:50PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Chicago releases watchdog probe of Laquan McDonald shooting
Chicago's law department has publicly released the city watchdog's investigative reports related to the 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white police officer
5:45PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Ecuador's protesters march; clashes break out in Quito
Thousands of protesters have staged anti-government rallies in Ecuador, seeking to intensify pressure on the president after a week of unrest sparked by fuel price hikes
5:29PM ( 36 minutes ago )
US nuclear, uranium mining industries hope for Trump bailout
U.S. uranium mining companies and nuclear power plant operators are hoping for a bailout in the name of national security
5:26PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Arizona official charged in Marshall Islands adoption scheme
Court records show the assessor of Arizona's most populous county has been accused of human smuggling in an adoption fraud scheme that brought pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to the U.S. to give up their children for adoption
5:25PM ( 40 minutes ago )
AP Business
Facebook CEO to appear before Congress on currency plan
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will appear before Congress this month as the tech giant is under pressure from lawmakers and regulators over its massive market power and record of privacy breaches.
2:06PM ( 3 hours ago )
California power outage: What happens when the lights go out
A Q&A about California's power outage and why the lights are going out to avert wildfires
1:47PM ( 4 hours ago )
Nobel prize honors breakthroughs on lithium-ion batteries
Three scientists have won this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry for their contributions to lithium-ion batteries, which have reshaped energy storage and transformed cars, mobile phones and many other devices in an increasingly portable and electronic world
1:40PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Technology News
10-spot: Cardinals score 10 runs in 1st inning vs Braves
The St. Louis Cardinals have scored 10 runs in the first inning of decisive Game 5 of the NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves
5:51PM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: One planned power shut-off pushed back
An estimated noontime power shut-off for Oakland has been pushed back to 8 p.m. Wednesday after utility officials said wind gusts had not reached problematic speeds yet
5:50PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Chicago releases watchdog probe of Laquan McDonald shooting
Chicago's law department has publicly released the city watchdog's investigative reports related to the 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white police officer
5:45PM ( 20 minutes ago )
2 dead in attack targeting German synagogue on Yom Kippur
A heavily armed assailant tried to force his way into a synagogue in eastern Germany on Wednesday and two people were killed as he fired shots outside the building and into a kebab shop
5:38PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Defying impeachment inquiry, Trump makes charge more certain
The White House's letter vowing to defy an "illegitimate" inquiry has put President Donald Trump on a more certain path to impeachment
5:37PM ( 28 minutes ago )