Credit: René Ramos; Getty Images/Alistair Berg
Social media is an incredible space where one can socialize with friends, meet new people, create content, build communities, find new interests and so much more! It can also be a terrifying space. In this post I’d like to go over some of the issues that can happen with being a content creator and streamer in the online world.
Let’s start with a minor scare, getting hacked.
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Privacy breaches can happen to anyone and there are various ways in which one can get hacked. The most common is using your IP address to find out the rest of your information. In the live streaming industry content creators seem to be at a higher risk of it as hackers know they are online in real time and know they can get access to the streamers computers. This is sometimes done as a “joke” to the creator while the hacker “fan” uses this time to simply move things around on the computer which those watching find the whole ordeal very entertaining. However this is not always the case. Privacy breaches can lead to your information being leaked to others including those that follow and interact with your content.
What is parasocial behavior?
Being stalked has happened to many creators with both large and small communities. Some fans tend to do this when they become parasocial with online creators they like, Ludwig Ahgren has a great video on this. They end up with delusions of being best friends or more with these people. Many live streamers celebrities have been open about the very real struggles with stalkers and the dangerous issues they have faced because of them. (Pokimane, Valkyrae and Sweet Anita to name a few.) Amouranth went into great detail about her stalker and how scared for her life she was. However many were quick to point out that this should be expected and normal considering the way she presents herself online. It is sad and disappointing to see these comments in this day and age especially from some of your own fans.
Swatting is probably the most dangerous “prank” a “fan” can do.
Swatting is the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address. -Oxford Dictionary
This action sends out a swat team (guns out) to that persons home. This has happened more often on live streams as the person who has called for this action is usually an IRL viewer and enjoys watching the content creator panic and find entertainment in the whole ordeal of it. Swatting may be seen as a simple prank by some but this can lead to severe legal consequences or worse. If interested here is an article about a swatting case that happened back in 2017 that led to a person’s death.
Many of these issues can be avoided with the help of a VPN and never sharing your location online but the chances of someone still finding out your location is never zero. Talking about these issues and making sure people understand why it is wrong to do so helps. What would you do if any of these happened to you? How can we stop people from becoming parasocial?
Do you watch any live streamers on the platform? Have you ever thought of the dangers some of your favorite content creators face? Find out more here !
@LudwigAhgren has told us he’s NOT our friend! Why are so many live streamers talking about parasocial relationships? Click here to find out why!
#parasocial #twitch #Ludwig
I really enjoyed your blog, I hadn’t really thought a lot about parasocial behavior and the dangers content creators would actually face.
I was familiar with the swatting case you mentioned because my family watched a Netflix documentary about swatting.
I also know of another noteworthy incident involving parasocial behavior. One guy called “Lincar Rox” wanted to be part of Vivziepop’s crew (Vivziepop is an animator and artist known for her dark comedy series Hazbin Hotel), but he turned out to be very manipulative, plagiarized other people’s work, and even made unsettling statements about her.
Here’s a good video explaining the situation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BypVZbWCEYE