Abusive Streamer, Toxic environment and more – Long | TW Death, Mental abuse

So, it was suggested by a member of HS Staff to post here about a situation that has happened with a streamer I am now a former mod for, but I thought I may as well talk about some other things at the same time.
Some context: I am a dude, not great with emotions, I work in computing and mod for some amazing people.

So the year started off with two major events, a Funeral (for my grandad) and a close friend (who also used to mod for the streamer) having to go through some major life changes [I mention this as I was super worried about them, which sort of explains how my brain was working at the time].

The funeral service itself was pretty good, but everything else was not good. We went down the night before and stopped in his house, it was weird, but not particularly bad. After a 4-hour drive, I was bored and just wanted to eat and sleep.
Next day, got up got ready blah blah, it was snowing, blah blah, go to the funeral (crematorium). And then the short version of this is that my two sisters blanked me [And my cousins who I have pretty much no contact with were the ones that bothered with me], my other aunt (who is its own problem) tried to make the funeral about herself, tried to kick off over something petty and was just mean.

It was snowing as we left the service and there was a nice cat…

Horrible drive back in thick fog. Left over snow, through some nasty roads…

Going back to work after the weekend, my co-worker (who honestly is bad at there job) had done none of their IT Role’s work. Meaning I basically have come back to effectively 4 days’ worth of work I need to catch up on (my two days and my co-workers two days of stuff not done, that needs doing / fixing what they get wrong).

This, with having to ramp up ready to start up after covid (our industry has been everyone in for a while now) and what was a huge workload at the time, nearly completely burnt me out. I got to the point where I sent a trusted friend my details (and even that of my workplace) encase I was to disappear, with instructions on who to let know out of my friends, which looking back may have been selfish of me to ask, but I was not in a good place at the time. I honestly felt that I was one bad day away from ending up in hospital from exhaustion or going wrong whilst driving. And partially felt I was just going to collapse at work, which at the time with limited staff on site was not good.
NB I Am (and was) not a danger to myself or others

And now to the actual main part of the post, the abusive streamer. This streamer is one of those that pretend to be positive on the outside but is one of the most toxic people I have ever known. And I never really noticed it until recently, I was blind to it, or honestly just ignoring and enabling it. I hate to admit I joined in on the toxicity and I hate that I did so, I am a better person than that…

Note; The friend with the major life changes, and another were kicked from the team with no reason ither.

The streamer seems to have a hatred for women who does not 1) give them obscene amounts of money, 2) do a large amount of free work for them (which would be a full-time job in the real world) or 3) Gives them a large amount of “clout” as soon as they stop Actively getting something from them, the nasty talk about them starts. Anything from a snide comment, to full on toxicity. And this can be a flip in the matter of days too. And if you were to go on any popular women streamer and took some of the toxic comments, they would not be out of place coming from this streamer.
And looking back (anecdotally), the hostility to the women in the mod team always seemed more than towards the men in the team.
There is similar toxicity to men streamers, but it always seemed less and a lot more supportive even when they were doing not great things.

Recently, a toxic message from the mod chat was leaked, it was regarding a former mod whom then shared it on social media. I was blamed, but I do not know who shared the toxic message. During the “investigation” The streamer Demanded that the entire mod team showed Private messages with him, I was the only one who initially refused. I did not want to share messages with two of my closest friends with the streamer but was eventually bullied into it.
This was not good enough for them.

For a couple of days I stayed away from the mod chat, I still did my mod role and modded, but stayed away from the nasty (obviously aimed) messages within the mod chat.
the streamer then messaged me saying I was being distant, that and me not wanting to share private messages was suspicious and trying to force me into a confession. And asking me why I wasn’t around during a bot attack (which was late my time and roughly the time I would be going to bed)
I stood up for myself basically explaining I haven’t missed modding for a very long time, and to stop accusing me.
I was kicked from the team

I know since then a couple of my friends have been messaged as a warning, implying I had done something wrong (and those friends are worried by associating with me it will negatively affect them, and honestly knowing how the mod chat has been in the past, that fear isn’t unjustified).

and some of the actions from the streamer and the “higher” mods seem to be ither an attempt at spying on us, to see if I or others have been talking about what’s happened publicly or otherwise a way to get into our heads. Which would not be out of the realms of possibility.

Only one of the people (mods) I thought were my friends messaged me, and I am pretty sure that the messages I sent will have been shared in the mod chat. And although I wish I could, I don’t think I can trust them anymore…

One friend from the community messaged me, and when told what had happened their response was kind of “that’s messed up, so when you are coming back to watch the stream” and no one else has messaged me.

on the other side, a handful of the people who I messaged to let know have took it quite well. And for a lot of them this was the last straw, they all knew Something was up with this streamer, but could not put their finger on it. And some of them were ready to go nuclear on my behalf, but did not as they know that is not the type of person I am.

FWIW, I Now understand why (mainly women) do not come forward with abuse accusations, even when its provable beyond doubt. Even when shown proof, people admit what’s happened is wrong and then they just go eh. And that I didn’t want to use the word “abusive” because I felt it might be exaggerating or blowing it out of proportion, but at the same time, “abusive” is the right word.

I Feel there is a lot more I could add, but this is already long. So ask qs I guess?

Thanks for those who read all of this

7 Likes

Hey @ToTheFuture,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share these parts of your story with us here.

It sounds that this community environment was very controlling, indeed. I guess it’s a real problem, and not just online, when people are given some type of power in their hands that they would use in a wrong way. This is likely to happen in any place where people gather around the same interest or the same person, and the fact that you share this story here is, in my opinion, very important, as it brings the light on a major issue that people might be afraid to disclose most of the time. Streamers social influence is real, and if you mix it with the need for some people to belong to a group and be acknowledged for what they do, then it can be sometimes a good recipe for some dramatic outcomes where a few people would be targeted and treated as outcasts. It brings us to the question of which values people are holding to, when they create and manage a community, and if there’s a difference between what they claim to be and what they actually do.

This streamer and the other mods had definitely no right to pressure you to share your private messages, but the social pressure is also very real. From what you describe, it’s not surprising that you had some gut feeling for a long time but couldn’t pinpoint what at first. Group dynamics can be tough to observe objectively, especially when we actually trust others. I’m sorry you had to go through this, friend. Yet at the same time, it sounds that this is going to be a growing pain for you. Something that you will learn from, so in the future you’ll manage to assert your own values and individuality if you witness something wrong happening.

I hope you don’t blame yourself or try to rewrite the story too much in your mind. I understand that being pushed away like this is a pretty brutal experience, but now that you’re out of it you can also fully acknowledge that it’s a problem related to the environment they created. With all you’ve been through this year, I imagine that this feels like one struggle too many. Give yourself the time you need to grieve the losses you had to experience in such a brutal way. Give yourself the time you need to breathe. Your heart will thank you for learning to be your own priority in times to come. You deserve to take care of yourself, as much as possible. And, from one mod to another, I can assure you that this community right here has at heart to make sure everyone feels safe, welcomed and accepted just as they are. I hope you’ll feel safe enough to stay around here and to keep doing life with us, just because we care about you, even if we have yet to know each other. Your life is important. You’re not alone. :hrtlegolove:

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From: Night/in/gale (Discord)

Heyoooo! Glad to see you here! I’m afraid I have little to no knowledge about the streaming world. Your boss and the fellow mod team have no right to pressure you into giving your messages, and good for you for standing up for yourself! If you can, take it as a learning experience - those who stayed with you are the ones you should value the most. Those who took part in the heckling are not worth your time. That’s about all I can see :see_no_evil: . I hope it gets better for you and you’re very much loved and appreciated here! Keep on keeping on!

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From: j71s8 (Discord)

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are loved, you matter and you are cared for greatly! It is a rough situation to be in when you have people who are demanding you to do things that you are unreasonable for you to do. Sometimes you need to directly cut ties with the people who support and encourage this type of behavior. It is so easy to get caught up without seeing the signs, and it is so easy to not notice. The best thing that can be done sometimes is to simply acknowledge the people in your life who are telling the truth. Those are the people who are telling you that are telling you something has been going on, and something is wrong. When someone dictates only certain people are treated one way or another, then there is a problem. All persons are equal and all persons are humans who are loved, worthy of life, matter and are cared for greatly. I have had experience when toxic people have become part of my life and i never knew it. I had found it out the hard way, and I can tell you that those friends who are supporting you are the ones who matter. Hang on to those friends and drop the ones who are supporting the person who is being unfair. I’m sorry this is so blunt, but you can not have a horse and an ox pulling a plow in unison. So kick that streamer and their friends if they just harass you, block them and surround yourself with those who are positive, care about you, and want you to be happy. You are loved, you matter and you are cared for greatly!

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