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The real reason Twitch is causing an uproar

Twitch has been making plenty of waves in recent months. The platform recently signed both Shroud and Ninja to exclusive streaming deals, bringing in a ton of new and lapsed viewers. However, not every decision the company has made has been quite so lauded. For example, it appears as though Twitch may be trying out a new advertising practice. The streaming giant's newest tactic has already come under fire after an incident that occurred on the channel of gaming and fitness streamer The Black Hokage.

During a recent stream, The Black Hokage received a donation in his chat from a user with a Twitch staffer account. The donation was accompanied by a message asking The Black Hokage to say "hi" to a specific branded product. Before reading it aloud, The Black Hokage took issue with this message. In a clip of the stream, The Black Hokage can be seen responding, "Yo, are you promoting something? ... You got a Twitch staff symbol next to your name, are you promoting s**t in my Chat?"

The Black Hokage took his grievances to Twitter, where he posted a screenshot of the exchange. The image showed a user by the name of "Newcryka" making a donation of 40 Bits to The Black Hokage's channel, along with the message that frustrated the streamer in the first place.

"Creators beware!" tweeted The Black Hokage. "@Twitch staff is now going around donating spare change in [an] attempt to trick you into shouting out brands w/o proper compensation. Don't fall for it." He further said that the Twitch staffer in question was "lucky" that streamers are unable to ban Twitch employees from their channels.

Several followers on Twitter apparently accused The Black Hokage of faking the screenshot in order to cause unnecessary drama. These accusations are what led to The Black Hokage posting a video of the interaction. The Black Hokage explained, "I see some new faces accusing me of photoshopping & trying to start drama. I have no reason to lie."

Some of The Black Hokage's fellow streamers have responded to these posts with concern. Negaoryx was frustrated by the fact that streamers aren't able to moderate posts from Twitch staffers. Meanwhile, Cohh Carnage seemed angry at the entire situation, tweeting, "What in the hell is this?"

One of the theories surrounding this interaction between Twitch and The Black Hokage is that Twitch may be demonstrating a new way of marketing, but is going about it the wrong way. The streaming platform has been looking into different ways of expanding how it advertises to viewers, which has been greeted with disdain from longtime Twitch viewers and streamers alike.

For example, earlier this year, Twitch tested out a method of playing ads in the middle of streams. Although Twitch streams will often display pre-roll ads when viewers pull up different channels, these mid-roll ads were significantly more intrusive.

One of the most frustrating things about the way Twitch tested out these ads was the fact that not every viewer had to see them. The ads were tested at random, so many viewers found themselves watching an ad that the rest of the people in a channel didn't have to sit through. As pointed out by Twitch streamer Asmongold, this resulted in an uneven experience for everyone, with some people missing vital parts of a stream, thanks to an ad popping up out of nowhere.

Another streamer that weighed in on the controversial mid-rolls was ChilledChaos, who pointed out how unfair it was that Twitch decided when the ads happened, which took control of a channel's content away from the creator. ChilledChaos tweeted, "Really feel like this will drive our audience OFF of our channels. Creators already keep their eye on fluctuating viewer counts, now we have to factor in 'twitch ran an automatic midroll' for why the audience may be tuning out? ... Don't do this."

Twitch completed the testing round for mid-roll ads and seemingly didn't go forward with implementing them as a permanent fixture of the service. Still, it is entirely possible that The Black Hokage and his channel experienced a quiet marketing test from Twitch. If that's the case, then Twitch clearly chose the wrong streamer to spring this on.

The problem here is that the donation and the attached product shoutout is a bad look for Twitch. It ultimately appears as though Twitch actually tried to trick a streamer into doing advertising for the company. Hopefully Twitch will release a statement in the near future that can clear up what happened on The Black Hokage's channel.