Amazon-owned live-streaming site Twitch has reportedly appointed a transgender “deer-girl” with links to the ADL to its “Safety Advisory Council.” The streamer, known as “FerociouslySteph” on the site, argues that voice chat in video games is a tool of oppression and that “a lot of you gamers are actually white supremacists.”
NewsBusters reports that the Amazon-owned live-streaming website Twitch has added a new member to its “Safety Advisory Council,” a transgender woman who identifies as a “trans deer-girl” named Steph Loehr, known by his screen name of “FerociouslySteph.”
Loehr is listed as a “Professional Community Leader” with the Anti Defamation League (ADL) and now serves as a member of Twitch’s Safety Advisory Council, which according to Protocol’s newsletter on May 15 is “made up of eight members: a mix of academics and professionals with online safety expertise, plus a few Twitch creators.”
Twitch’s Safety Advisory Council described Loehr as an individual whose “fight for inclusivity includes creating a competitive team composed entirely of marginalized gamers, and vehemently opposing non-inclusive mechanics such as voice chat.”
Loehr has argued that voice chat mechanics in games negatively affect people from “marginalized groups” as they do not have a typical “cis white male” voice, making them a target for harassment.
“The concept that voice chat requires people to reveal their linguistic profile, which can contain a lot of identity information people can target you for harassment or judgment in game,” Loehr told Newsweek. “When using your voice provides a competitive advantage, marginalized gamers are placed in a lose/lose situation.”
Former Blizzard game developer Mark Kern responded to the announcement from Twitch by tweeting that “Twitch’s new safety council features a person who believes voice chat in games is sexist. Safety councils have historically been filled with toxic, hate baiting, cancel culture oriented power trippers.”
Twitch’s new safety council features a person who believes voice chat in games is sexist.
Safety councils have historically been filled with toxic, hate baiting, cancel culture oriented power trippers. https://t.co/7zoz4TBMRX
— Grummz (@Grummz) May 15, 2020
Since the announcement that Loehr would be joining Twitch’s Safety Advisory Council, clips from Loehr’s live stream have been posted across the internet, including in forums such as /r/LiveStreamFail on Reddit.
One clip featured Loehr wearing antlers while explaining: “In my spare time, I go out to my yard, and I, and I prance around. And I eat grass.” Loehr then acted out eating grass stating that “it helps me feel, like, in tune with my deer-self.”
Turns out the Twitch Ambassador who wants to ban voice chat eats grass because they think they're a deer. pic.twitter.com/kfQ4QgzrvF
— 『Ryuuko Matoi』@Kamen Rider Ex Aid (@Smug_Legend) May 16, 2020
In another clip, Loehr states “I’m just not cool with white supremacy y’all…it’s really not that…I think a lot of you gamers are actually white supremacists, sorry, just a fact…of how I feel…which is my opinion.”
Loehr further warned in another clip that “I have power,” and that “there are some people that should be afraid of me. And that they are, because I represent moderation and diversity, and I’m gonna come for hurtful, harmful people. If you’re a really shitty person, I’m going to stand up against you. Period. And Twitch has endorsed me to do that.”
Multiple other videos show Loehr having their head scratched by another individual while appearing to act as a deer:
This is a member of the Twitch Trust and Safety Council having a DEERGASM on stream: pic.twitter.com/fq2LoDhPyF
— M101News (@M101News) May 16, 2020
On the ADL’s website, Loehr is described as “Transgender, and an advocate for authenticity, challenging herself and others to find and express truth through vulnerability.”
Other Twitch streamers, such as transgender streamer TobyontheTele, discussed the appointment of Loehr stating, “It’s weird y’know because who’s asking for it? It must be a huge minority…there’s clearly just this small percentage of people that are like ‘Twitch is a hateful place, the gaming industry isn’t accepting, and voice chat isn’t accepting, Twitch should ban voice chat because voice chat is not inclusive’, like what odes that even mean?”
Since being appointed to the Safety Advisory Council, popular Twitch streamer, founder of HealthyGamer.gg and psychiatrist Dr. Alok Kanojia has invited Loehr to appear on his stream, where he regularly discusses emotional or psychological issues with other Twitch streamers.
In a recent stream, Kanojia alleges that Loehr was told by Twitch not to conduct any more interviews until a meeting of the Safety Advisory Council had been called.
Streamer and Bodybuilder Knut Spildrejorde discussed Loehr’s assertion that many gamers are really white supremacists stating that Loehr should be unpartnered on Twitch for their statements. Knut said in a full statement: “I find it ironic that someone who was recently appointed to Twitch’s council, with a stated intent to promote equality and improve the platform, is the one who is directly attacking specific groups. If the roles had been reversed here, there is no doubt in my mind that they would have been action taken by Twitch. I am simply advocating for subordination to a single rule set by all on the platform, regardless of personal identities or agendas. That is how twitch can remain great and not succumb to bias in either direction.”
Loehr has spoken to Newsweek about his experience joining the council, stating: “I am getting harassed because I represent a lot of things people hate about diversity and acceptance.” Loehr added that the cause of the harassment is because “I am different and twitch has platformed me.”
Loehr continued to tell Newsweek: “People believe me to be mentally ill for being different. People believe I am a threat to their video game mechanics. People also don’t like me for my pride, and they don’t like that they have so little power over me.”
Twitch told Newsweek on Friday: “It is unfortunate to see a member of the advisory council targeted for harassment. The safety of our council members is our top priority and we’ve taken preventative measures to help ensure their safety and well-being. We are in close communication with each of the members and are working diligently to provide them with whatever support they may need.”
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org