It’s been a weird week for the video game community. And I mean weirder than a normal week, which is usually already pretty strange.
Things kicked off with some startling accusations about Destiny 2 streamer SayNoToRage which quickly overflowed into a budding #MeToo movement that, within just a few days, has seen numerous streamers and video game developers fall from grace, including the director of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and other Ubisoft executives.
Twitch released a statement so generic it’s honestly not worth printing but I’ll do it anyways because we must do our journalistic duty even if giant corporations can’t be bothered with even the mildest scrap of transparency.
Here it is:
“As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”
Great, how noble. Though, truth be told, Twitch does not have a particularly sterling reputation in this regard.
Most of what we know so far comes from some few with inside sources like eSports journalist Rod Breslau who is, in my humble opinion, one of the best video game journalists on the planet and someone whose work you should absolutely follow. He’s tweeted that the reason for the ban is not DMCA related and that his sources have told him the reason but he’s not comfortable sharing it publicly due to the sensitivity of the subject:
Beyond this, mum’s the word.
But now Dr. Disrespect himself has spoken up, sending out a public tweet on the Twitch ban:
“Twitch has not notified me on the specific reason behind their decision… Firm handshakes to all for the support during this difficult time,” writes Beahm.
I have some issues with this. First and foremost, it makes no sense. There are two big reasons why it makes no sense and probably several other smaller reasons.
Reason #1 — Why wait so long to tweet this very brief statement? If Twitch banned me, and I was a prominent streamer, and they didn’t tell me why . . . I would be on Twitter in a flash saying so. I wouldn’t let all this mystery and gossip go wild online without at the very least saying “Hey I have no idea what’s going on right now and Twitch won’t tell me.” Beahm waited a day before tweeting anything. Maybe there are extenuating circumstances for this—he was camping in some remote wilderness, perhaps—but as of right now, it makes no sense.
Reason #2 — This statement only reveals one data point—that Twitch hasn’t told Beahm why he was banned. It leaves out some other big factors, such as whether or not Dr. Disrespect is aware of the reason himself. It stands to reason that whatever happened, he knows. It seems incredibly unlikely, given Reason #1, that he is unaware and completely in the dark about the reasons for the ban whether or not Twitch communicated this to him directly. If sources are telling journalists like Breslau what’s going on, surely the doctor himself is aware.
Unless . . . something even worse has happened and Twitch and the handful of people who know what’s going on aren’t allowed to tell Beahm anything. That conjures up some very bad scenarios which I won’t delve into here—it’s not polite to speculate on something of this nature, after all. But it’s certainly strange, and Dr. Disrespect’s statement only furthers the confusion and dread we’re all feeling over this.
I would like more transparency from all involved, quite frankly. All this opacity and hush hush nonsense does is fuel speculation and rumor and nobody deserves that. The truth will out, as they say. It always does. May as well rip off the band-aid and get it over with. The fact that Twitch hasn’t even told Beahm the reasons (assuming that’s true) is absolutely absurd. It’s certainly no way to treat one of your biggest stars—even a star I’m not personally a fan of. It’s very, um, disrespectful.
Hopefully we get to the bottom of this soon.
It’s been interesting to see the reaction to this post online. Some people seem to agree that it’s all rather fishy. Others have accused me of—well, I’m not quite sure what.
Writing a terrible, lousy no-good article that is somehow attacking Dr. Disrespect or, alternatively, that I’m some crazy Doc fan (the “filled with dread” line was apparently taken by some to be very literal as opposed to tongue-in-cheek. Everything is lost in translation).
Others have accused me of masking an opinion piece as straight reporting—but my blog is almost entirely opinion pieces. I rarely report straight news. I’m a critic and a think-piece guy. I don’t believe I drifted into idle speculation and I certainly haven’t leveled any accusations or posited any theories. I’ve merely said that things don’t add up and this whole business is somewhat unsettling. It’s hard not to have your mind drift to very bad things when we just don’t know, well, anything and everyone who does know something won’t comment publicly about it because it’s so “sensitive.”
We have yet to hear anything substantial out of either Dr. Disrespect or Twitch, either, with no new statements coming out of either camp. This may be because Twitch simply doesn’t share information when issuing a permanent ban according to Breslau:
“food for thought,” Breslau tweeted Sunday. “Twitch does not issue specific reasons to streamers for permanent bans. MethodJosh was banned following a report of sexual assault and Twitch has never commented publicly or privately. Josh & Ice Poseidon were told ‘Other TOS violations’.”
Meanwhile, there’s a big conspiracy making the rounds about this new Brime streaming service that streamers Ninja, Shroud and Dr. Disrespect were apparently going to move to together. The theory goes that somehow Twitch caught wind of Doc trying to poach streamers to move over to Brime and that’s why he’s been banned.
I don’t think this theory holds much water for a whole host of reasons, and you should read Paul Tassi’s breakdown of why it really doesn’t make sense (and has no verifiable sources) right here.
Google says Fitbit deal is ‘about devices, not data’ after committing to EU pledge – 9to5Google
Google today offered a pledge that it would not use Fitbit data for advertising if its acquisition went through. This reportedly addresses a big European demand before approving the Google-Fitbit deal.
In a statement to Reuters, Google said it would “work with the European Commission on an approach that safeguards consumers’ expectations that Fitbit device data won’t be used for advertising.”
A binding pledge emerged last week as a way for Google to avoid an extended, four-month long investigation by European antitrust regulators. When the deal was first announced in November, Google already said “Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.” Furthermore, existing users will be given the option to “review, move, or delete their data.”
Today was the deadline for such a commitment, with the EU expected to make a decision as soon as next week on its preliminary review of the $2.1 billion acquisition that would see Fitbit join Google’s hardware division. Europe has surveyed competitors about whether the purchase would harm the marketplace, and how Fitbit could benefit Google’s up-and-coming Health division.
Google also said today that the Fitbit “deal is about devices, not data.” A literal reading reveals the company’s desire to make and have a portfolio of smart watches and fitness trackers. It currently does not have a significant presence in the consumer health space, or a first-party wearables brand that people are familiar with.
After the deal closes, Google could move forward with adding Assistant to the Fitbit Versa 2. We already spotted work on that integration last month, and it would be a way to quickly reflect the new ownership. It also provides a new surface for the smart assistant on many existing devices.
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OnePlus Nord to come in dark grey and include ultrawide selfie cam – MobileSyrup
OnePlus has shared that the hotly anticipated OnePlus Nord is going to have a 105-degree front camera to make taking group selfies a breeze.
Alongside that news, the OnePlus Twitter account shared a picture of the handset in a dark grey colour scheme. The image has a ‘#01’ on it, and the tweet says people can enter for a chance to win one of the first 10 OnePlus Nords to be released.
Own a piece of history. https://t.co/QtaFidNcSB
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) July 13, 2020
It’s unclear if regular consumers will have the option to buy this colour or if it’s exclusive to the first 10. Since the phone isn’t coming to Canada, it’s highly unlikely that Canadians will be able to get their hands on this stealthy version of the phone.
It’s also exciting to see OnePlus pack a wide-angle camera into the front of the display alongside a regular selfie shooter. Many phones such as the Pixel 4 and the iPhone 11 have been using wide-angle lenses to help people up their selfie game, so it’s nice to see OnePlus follow suit.
Leaks have been speculating that one of the selfie cameras will be 8-megapixels, while the other will be 32-megapixels. If I had to guess, the 8-megapixel lens will be the ultra-wide, and the other camera will be the primary lens used for video chatting and taking pictures, but there’s no concrete evidence yet.
OnePlus seems to be releasing small bits of information via the Nord Instagram account, so stay tuned to that channel until July 21st to get all the new information the company is sharing.
Apple's iPhone 12 won't be available until October: analyst – MobileSyrup
In a new research note, analysts from Wedbush say that Apple will go ahead with a September launch event for the iPhone 12 series, but that the smartphone likely won’t be available to purchase until October.
Several Apple leakers and analysts have predicted that the 2020 iPhone’s release will be delayed by at least a few weeks due to supply chain complications brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Further, Wedbush purposes a few scenarios. First, Apple could drop all 2020 iPhone models at the same time but with very limited availability and a lengthy delivery delay.
Second, it says Apple could adopt a strategy similar to the iPhone X and XR. In the case of the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus launched first, followed by the X a few weeks later. The company did the same thing with the release of the iPhone XR following the initial release of the iPhone XS.
The firm goes on to state the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available in minimal quantities following its September reveal.
Lastly, there’s a possibility Apple could delay the entire keynote until October so that there is more availability of all iPhone 12 models.
Previous rumours indicate Apple has plans to launch several 2020 iPhones, including 5.4-inch and 5.1-inch iPhone 12 models and a Pro version available in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes.
Other reported features include a more squared-off design similar to recent iPad Pro models, a new faster 5nm A-series processor and 5G connectivity.
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Google says Fitbit deal is ‘about devices, not data’ after committing to EU pledge – 9to5Google
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