Though livestreaming platforms like Twitch have provided new ways for influencers to connect and chat with their audiences in real time, it's led to some discussions about oversharing with creators.
In a viral clip online, one streamer's response to an alleged "trauma dumping" in his chat has sparked new controversy, as viewers argue whether or not sharing sad news is crossing the line.
A clip of a streamer reacting to a viewer's "trauma dumping" has garnered backlash on Twitter.
On Dec. 13, a clip of streamer WeFoundtheBody, whose real name is John, reacting to viewer and fellow streamer MissNerdyCurvy's comments in his chat led to a discussion online about sharing hard news in Twitch chats.
In the clip, John is reading and responding to viewers chats when he asks, "Curvy, where the f--k have you been?"
Though we don't see her comment in the chat, MissNerdyCurvy, whose real name is Alicia, has said she shared news of her mom's passing in the chat.
The clip immediately cuts to John's reaction to Alicia's comment — and he's not pleased with her confession.
"Oh my god, well I'll tell you what, MissNerdyCurvy, you know what we're not going to do? We're not going to talk about it in my chat, because it's Friday, and that is a whole big bucket of bummer, and I'm sorry for your loss, but we're not doing that in my f--king chat," he says.
Again, we don't see Alicia's comments in the chat throughout the video, but John continues.
"No, I didn't ask you to tell me the biggest f--king bummer news in the world," he says, reacting to her newest chat message. "Let me give you a little bit of a lesson, MissNerdyCurvy, when something really, really bad is going on in your life, and in a public forum, someone asks 'Hey, what's up, how are you?' there are two acceptable responses: 'Good,' and 'You know what, I'll make it through.'"
Almost immediately, viewers started calling out John for his harsh response, pointing out that sharing sad news isn't considered "trauma dumping," and dunking on a viewer is not a great way to make them feel safe in a stream.
WeFoundtheBody posted a video in response to the backlash.
Following the clip gaining traction online, John posted a video apologizing to Alicia for the harshness of his tone, but doubled down that his chat is not a place to air that news.
"Firstly it is well known in my channel that I do not tolerate heavy news, drama, or trauma dumping, if you will, being entered or dropped into the chat," he says in a YouTube video. "This has been discussed and explained and made clear many times while I've been live over the four-plus years I've been on Twitch."
He claimed that the edited video doesn't show that he didn't acknowledge her comment until the third time she'd mentioned her mother's passing; John also claimed that he and Alicia had spoken privately about sharing heavy news in his chat, as she'd previously shared "triggering" information about a relationship she'd been in.
"The frustration you witnessed in that edited clip she provided is a result of this expectation not being understood, as I thought it was," he says. "It's not my job to take on people's grief or drama while I'm live, big or small, seemingly harmless or not — it's just not my job."
In a TwitLonger in response to John's criticism, Alicia acknowledged she edited the video to be shorter, but still expressed hurt at the harshness behind the streamer's words.
"It wasn’t my intention to continue to talk about it, but [John] simply asked a question and I answered feeling comfortable/safe telling so to a streamer/community I’ve be apart of for years," she writes. "That was the first chat I have EVER mentioned my mother had passed away... As a streamer I can highly understand how uncomfortable it is when someone trauma dumps or drops heavy news like that and it wasn’t my intention. I know that if it was me being told that news it would [have] ended differently."
"I’ve said things in the past on [John's] channel and shared things that were silly but also personal especially in [his] Discord that’s why I said what I said," she continued. "Those things I’ve said in the past and done I’m not fond of and would take them back in a heartbeat but trauma dumping is one thing but this is on a different level in my opinion."