Twitch, a Breath of Fresh Air?

by Jonathan Alklid

Institution: Linnæus University
Year: 2015
Keywords: CMC; Gender; Online Communication; Sexism; Twitch; Humanities; Languages and Literature; General Language Studies and Linguistics; Humaniora; Språk och litteratur; Jämförande språkvetenskap och lingvistik; Language, Culture and Communication Programme, 180 credits; Språk, kultur och kommunikation, 180 hp; English; Engelska
Record ID: 1353593
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-40326


The issue of sexism is arguably an important topic in modern society in several aspects of life. With the introduction of the Internet and communication over the Internet, additional potential sources of sexism have emerged. While there appears to have been a significant number of studies regarding sexism in cyberspace, Twitch.tv is a relatively new platform and seems yet to be properly explored. Therefore, while being limited in size, the present study aims to provide an introduction to Twitch.tv by performing a limited investigation of the extent of sexist behaviour and ideas expressed by users on the site, particularly against female streamers. To accomplish this, 30,000 lines of chat messages from six different chatrooms, three belonging to women and the remaining three to men, were examined for sexist behaviour, based on a variety of parameters such as differences in language complexity and instances of sexist remarks. The results suggested that several varieties of sexism existed on Twitch, and was directed at both men and women, where women seemed to be more heavily affected than men. The conclusion of the study is that Twitch does not seem to be a breath of fresh air in cyberspace as it appears to embody numerous sexist ideas. However, the author notes that Twitch could serve as a potentially useful source of data for future gender studies online.