Obsverations on Broadcaster Etiquette

Over the course of my time spent streaming and interacting with other streamers I’ve noticed different things about how each of them acts or handles specific kinds of situations.

I’m sure all of these have been called out before, some more than others, but I felt like offering my own take. Let’s start with the Bad Etiquette.

The Faux Supporter

For a long while I’d only ever seen others mention this kind of behavior. Until recently. I’ve now personally experienced having someone come in to my chat, say something along the lines of “Hey, just wanted to drop in and say hi and show some support before I went Live.” and then they leave just as quickly. I had only seen this individual in my chat and in friends chats a handful of times over the course of maybe a month. We talked and interacted at least a little bit each time, but never enough to really form a connection or be considered on amicable terms. Then they pull that move and I was just baffled. Why? Did this person not actually understand what ‘support’ meant? They literally Grandpa Simpson’d me. Thankfully, I haven’t seen this individual since that incident so I’ve had time to think over how I would further respond to that kind of action, but it’s just as irritating as it is baffling to me.

The Linker

This one is interesting, and easily dealt with. This person can be either a broadcaster or a regular viewer that doesn’t stream at all. They both do the same thing, but oftentimes the intent behind the action is different. In the case of the broadcaster what they do is for exposure and/or bragging. They take a clip of their stream and try to post it in another streamers chat. Unless they’re on good terms with that streamer, they’re usually easily blocked. No posting links either because of AutoMod, a moderator bot, or a regular mod doing what they do best. I still see it happen from time to time, but it’s usually easy to ignore because of how easily it’s handled. That doesn’t diminish what it says about them though.

The Donater

I feel like these individuals are more often just throwing away money. Sure, they might be monetarily supporting another streamer, but their intent is clear as day. Donating money just to have your name and message flash across the screen for people to see. The message usually contains the same kind of content. Things that call out they’re a streamer too and want to be noticed. (We get it, it’s hard to get viewers and build your community, but this isn’t the right way.)

So, unless you’re in a stream where it’s common practice to have someone drop a donation to recommend a Host or Raid candidate, you might typically see more of these come through from the broadcaster themselves rather than a friend of their channel.

The Raid Leader

I don’t see this one very often anymore, nor always in a poor light, but I have seen it used terribly before. In this case, the broadcaster incites their viewers to go raid another streamers channel without actually invoking the Raid function. This particular behavior can have a couple of different results based on the intent of the broadcaster, or the lack of control over their community.

The first one is toxic flooding. A broadcaster is, ultimately, the one responsible for having built up the community they see in their chat, and if they let it be a semi-lawless mess then it ends up being toxic and chaotic. So when they start looking into another streamer (who may be live at the same time) they may be inadvertently inviting their own viewers to go flood the unsuspecting target of their investigation. This can be detrimental to the recipient streamer if they haven’t experienced it before. A sudden influx of viewers gets their hopes up, only to be brought back down quickly when they realize how toxic they are, and suddenly they aren’t enjoying themselves anymore. It takes away from their experience of streaming and leaves a bad taste in their mouth.

The second version, and arguably the worst one, is when the broadcaster themselves ACTUALLY calls for their viewers to go blow up the other streamers channel. This one is worse because it emboldens their viewership and supports the idea that being toxic is okay. (There’s actually another version of this behavior, but I’ll explain it further down.)

The final one I’ll touch on in this category of behavior is related to the first. The broadcaster might not be trying to call attention to another streamer regardless of how they encountered each other, but their community is still going to have individuals who go on an unsolicited raid once they figure out who it is.

All of these raid behaviors are a product of the broadcaster’s personality and the way they’ve built up their community.

I probably missed an example of something in there somewhere but I still have more to go over.

Now let us go over some of the positive behaviors I’ve seen when it comes to broadcaster etiquette.

The Gifter

This isn’t totally new, but has seen an increase lately. Ever since Twitch implemented the ability to gift multiple subscriptions at once, it has become easier for people to support their favorite communities and streamers. In this case, the broadcaster wants to help another streamer out, so they drop a large number of gift subscriptions on them. This gives a positive mental boost to the recipient streamer and can help their community feel more involved. I’ve seen this behavior paired up with another one I’ve already alluded to above, but suffice to say it can be used to a greatly positive affect.

The Raid Leader (again)

This category on the positive side? You bet! This is actually the one that inspired me to write this entry at all.

The Raid Leader can be a positive, supportive force as well. I’ve seen it first hand when a broadcaster acts with good intent in this category of behavior. The second reason above in the negative version can be flipped on its head. The broadcaster incites their community to go raid another live channel for the express purpose of helping them gain exposure at no cost to them. They wind up sharing followers, bolstering the total number of the recipient to help them grow their community. Often times, though, it isn’t some random streamer they found but was one who they were previously familiar with.

A subset of this behavior is when they ARE looking for a legitimate Raid candidate because they themselves are ending stream for the time being. I was recently part of one of these situations on the recipient side as a channel moderator. Someone that was a common viewer and friend of both channels managed to pull some strings with the raiding broadcaster and I had a feeling I knew who it was (and they privately confirmed it for me almost immediately, making me promise not to tell. Don’t worry friend, I still haven’t told anyone it was you.) So it got me curious and I decided to look at the end of the VOD from the incoming streamer. This where it really struck to write this blog post. They said two things that I respected greatly. “Please don’t talk about me or my channel in there,” followed immediately by “we’re going in there to support them.” Respect where it’s due when a Partnered streamer says something like that going into a smaller stream.

I mentioned earlier that The Gifter behavior can be paired up with another. Here’s that case. A positive force of support, when The Raid Leader is also being The Gifter. They go in with their community on a legitimate Raid at the end of their own stream and shortly after hanging out for a bit they drop a large number of gift subscriptions to viewers. They’re attempting to bolster the recipient streamers community numbers but also somewhat enforce that increase.

I think I’ve ranted long enough, and I’m sure I missed some other great examples of both negative and positive broadcaster etiquette, but I want to end on a simple note.

At the end of the day, it is all about Respect. Respecting each other, and ourselves. If you have bad behaviors and etiquette (or provide an environment for toxicity to develop) as a broadcaster then you don’t really deserve respect for it. If you truly support one another in a positive way, and show respect for each others effort, then you deserve respect in return.

Do your best to stay awesome out there.

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