Streamer career and reputation score
One night in late June, streamer Caitlin Siragusa suddenly noticed an uninvited stranger standing outside her window staring at her.
Then the man knocked on the door and asked Siragusa to come in. When the 28-year-old, who lives on the outskirts of Houston, USA, didn’t answer, the man walked around behind him and tried to open the side door. But he’s not a thief.
This man had been texting her to express his appreciation for months before they left for Siragusa’s home. In a text message, he said he sold his houses and properties in Estonia and then flew halfway around the world to meet the man he admired.
“Sorry to waste your time but it took me so long to get here it was hell fire,” said a man caught on security cameras from inside. But now I live here.
The man is one of Siragusa’s five million followers on the world-famous streaming platform Twitch. She had to call the police to intervene. “What popular broadcasters face is harassment and harassment,” Siragusa said.
Twitch was a streaming platform mostly related to video games. Recently, however, the content has varied widely, from life experiences to cooking to political commentary. Siragusa is often seen in sexy clothes or clothes like game characters that sometimes play Invasion: Shadow Legends or GeoGuessr. However, their live broadcasts are like variety shows.
Twitch currently has 8 million live streams, with streaming times typically a few hours per session. Broadcasters interact with and support audiences in a variety of ways. Siragusa says he makes $120,000 a month from fans watching ads, making one-time donations, or paying $5 a month for channel subscriptions. With other platforms like OnlyFans, she can earn over a million dollars a month.
Unlike Instagram, Twitter or Tik Tok, Twitch aims to turn streaming stars into true friends of their fans through the necessary “closeness”. This relationship is central to Twitch’s model, but it’s slowly becoming healthier.
“They look into your home, into your bedroom, and it feels very personal to them,” Siragusa said. “I think that’s a big part of building a fan base: they feel like they know you.”
In response to harassment, intimidation, and stalking since joining Twitch in 2016, Siragusa bought a gun, security cameras, and a dog named Bear to protect herself. At the residence, she also reported to authorities that the police had not answered the phone and were calling. “I don’t know what else to do right now, but get it around the house where the alligators are,” she said.
Successful streamers like Siragusa land their dream jobs just because they get paid to play games. But when it comes to fame, sometimes it gets more dangerous overnight.
In the 1950s, psychologists recognized the powerful emotional bonds fans could develop with actors, television hosts, and other celebrities. They called it “a one-sided relationship in society.” Chris Rojek, Professor of Sociology at the University of London, said: “In extreme cases, fans feel they are a personal partner with the celebrity.
On Twitch, interacting with a celebrity doesn’t go unnoticed. According to Rachel Cowert, psychologist and director of research at Take This, interacting on social media platforms makes fans feel more “social,” which is why some fans are keen to get to know the character.
Brooke Bond, 24, who lives in Portland, also has a terrifying experience with a tendency to “find” idols. She played during the Covid-19 season. Fourteen days Then, to take the pressure off, get on Twitch and share about the game you’re playing and the part of life you’re having and the pressure.
That year, Bond was surprisingly offered by electronic sports company 100 Thieves to move to Los Angeles to further his career there. She was happy until she shared it on Twitch.
Bond fans immediately accused her of finding out her home address and posting “scary” information on social media. A crowd threatened to kill her and forced her to call the police. He spent tens of thousands of dollars on private investigators and the FBI investigating harassment.
In April, Bond hinted that he intended to attend the Coachella music festival, but received a series of text messages threatening to kill her and her family if he did. “I canceled the trip, take care of it in advance,” she said.
David Huntzinger, manager and representative of some popular broadcasters, advises live broadcasters not to share personal information online, as doing so can lead to unpredictable results.
DizzyKitten, an account with 680,000 followers on Twitch, also “watered down” the experience. In 2013, when she was 20 years old, she joined a live streaming platform to talk about games. World of Warcraft and counterstrike. Initially unaware of the dangers of revealing personal information, she contacted viewers on her Facebook page and gave them her real name.
In 2018, a Washington man told Dizikit that he would come to her house. He called her “wife” in his messages and sent intimate messages, even though he had never met her. Then she should call the police and go home.
According to Leigh Honeywell, CEO of cybersecurity company Tall Poppy, personal information disclosed by celebrities or social media users in general is extremely dangerous. However, Honeywell believes it will be more difficult to ensure broadcasters’ privacy, as audiences often both appreciate and hate anonymity.
Twitch is aware of threats targeting streamers. The company’s Chief Product Officer, Tom Verrilli, has made this platform even more secure. For example, personal information is masked on the Twitch settings page to prevent a streamer from accidentally revealing their address or phone number when sharing their screen during a live stream.
Last year, Twitch also began harshly prosecuting inappropriate behavior that occurred “out of use.” In general, if a Twitch user decides to cause “serious harm in the real world,” that person can be permanently banned from the platform.
Bao Lam (Consequences New York Times)