How a streamer can ruin a business for no reason

The community of a harassing Twitch streamer can do damage in the real world: the story that happened at the Crazy Cat Café in Milan opens the Pandora’s box of abuse dynamics with which we will have to deal

(photo: dougwoods/Flickr CC)

A streamer walks into a bar. It is not the beginning of a joke, but the beginning of a story that involved two communities: the followers of one noto streamer di Twitch and the patrons of a well-known Milanese club. It all started with a diretta Irl (in real life) on Twitch where the streamer protagonist – who we will not name so as not to advertise him – as his habit, visits clubs and businesses where, to entertain his audience, he delights in goliardic actions annoying managers and customers present. On Tuesday, June 15, the streamer decides to head to the Crazy Cat Coffee from Milan, a café known for being populated by lots of cute cats, in full style neko-coffee Japanese-inspired.

Once he entered the venue, the show began. At first the streamer started interacting with cats and customers. Then, through the system of donations and subscriptions to the channel, his audience began to disturb continuously activating the notifications that put an end to the quiet of the other patrons, thanks (so to speak) to a bluethooth speaker connected to the device with which it was transmitting and unusual notification sounds, including screams of female orgasms.

As if that weren’t enough, the live audience he started calling the place annoying employees with phone pranks. After some blasphemy shouted by the streamer and squabbles with some customers – rightly annoyed – the staff, after almost half an hour of live broadcast, proceeded to remove the intruder from the room.

The story could have ended like this, but the twitcher community – despite the fact that he himself had asked not to act against the club, to tell the truth – unleashed a real shitstorm against Crazy Cat Cafe. In just under two days the venue has received approximately 428 1-star reviews on TripAdvisor and Google. “In the following days“, Tells a Wired Alba Galtieri, owner of the restaurant, “we continued to get phone calls from streamer fans. Fake bookings, phone jokes. For us, especially in this moment of reopening, keeping a table booked for someone who will never show up and having to say no to other customers is a economic damage. As well as negative reviews they are because they can turn away potential customers and damage our image”.

For this reason Alba asked for help online. The response was immediate. Many influencers are also complicit, including Chiara Ferragni, there have been thousands of re-shares of the post published on the Facebook page of Crazy Cat Cafè and as many positive reviews have canceled the vandalism of the streamer’s followers. The latter, a boy born in 2002, has returned to confront the managers of the restaurant saying he is sorry for the behavior of his community, even without apologizing directly for what happened. Throughout all of this, the live video remained visible on Twitch. The rules of the streaming platform, however, clearly state that harassment, online and offline, are prohibited. And that’s why Monday 21 June Twitch has banned the streamer after receiving numerous reports. Following the ban, the protagonist he then apologized through his Instagram profile.

This whole story, however, happened because the Crazy Cat Cafe was able to count on many users who took its side. Events like this however are already happened to other small businesses who have had less luck than the place populated with felines. So if for the Crazy Cat Cafè the economic damage was averted thanks to the solidarity of the social networks, many others have not been able to avoid worse consequences.

Maybe that’s not the case with the Carlo Cracco’s restaurant, to which the same streamer in the above case visited once he was kicked out of the feline cafeteria – and from which he often creates discomfort, being regularly kicked out – but the worst situation occurs when it happens to smaller activities, which are almost invisible. This is the case with some bar, neighborhood minimarket, or hairdresser’s (the latter a regular target of the unnamed streamer).

As happened in the case of Crazy Cat Café, those businesses were also hit by phone jokes and negative reviews. Although Twitch tries to protect possible victims as much as possible, unfortunately the response of the platform is always linked to a moderation system driven by the reports of the spectators and which therefore, if missing, risk making go unpunished with misconduct of the streamer and, above all, of its community.

However, despite the fact that the first culprit, as in this case, is punished with a permanent ban, the real architect of the inconvenience caused – that is the followers – remain unpunished and, indeed, they risk causing further damage by moving out of spite or seeking revenge for the ban of their favorite. With unpredictable effects, and with which we should begin to deal.

Categories:   Internet