- Leaked Twitch data shows the 100 top-earning streamers on the platform.
- Only three women made the list, excluding group channels, and only one woman was a person of colour.
- No singular female channels were in the top third of the list, the data showed.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
A major data leak at streaming platform Twitch shows most of the revenue from the platform's top 100 creators between August 2019 and October 2021 went to male creators.
The data, shared in a 125-gigabyte file on the anonymous forum 4chan on October 6, appears to show that only three women were among those top 100 creators. Twitch has not verified whether the data was accurate but previously confirmed to Insider and in a tweet that the breach took place.
Pokimane came in 39th place ($1.5 million in earnings), Amouranth at 48th ($1.3 million in earnings), and Sintica at 71st ($1 million in earnings), according to data from the leak that was analysed by a Twitch streamer known as KnowSomething, who has 1,300 followers on the streaming platform.
Some streaming channels made up of groups, such as Critical Role, include both men and women, but women who stream alone on their own channels made up just 3% of the top-earners list, according to this data. Only one woman of colour, Pokimane, whose real name is Imane Anys, was included on that list.
The streamer, who does not share their name publicly, shared a screenshot of the breakdown on Twitter. They told Insider that they found the data from a folder from the leak labeled "twitch-payouts" that had all the payouts in plain text file files "organised very cleanly by year and then within each year by month," the streamer said.
Spreadsheets comprising the purported data identified Twitch streamers by Twitch IDs, a numerical code given to accounts. The streamer said they used a website that corresponds Twitch handles with their IDs to identify whom each payout was for.
The news comes as Twitch and the gaming industry have faced criticism for pervasive sexism and misogyny. Female streamers, some of whom have hundreds of thousands or millions of followers, have reported sexual harassment in the gaming world, while some also say they've faced stalking from aggressive fans becoming obsessive and dangerous.
Most famously, in 2014, 4chan users doxxed and sent rape and death threats to game developers Zoe Quinn and Brianna Wu in what became known as Gamergate, a far-right harassment campaign targeting women in gaming.
The hackers claiming responsibility for the hack wrote on 4chan that Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, has a community that is "a disgusting toxic cesspool" and the hack was meant to "foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space," as Insider's Ben Gilbert reported.
Anys, who has 8.3 million followers, was asked by viewers about the leak in a Twitch stream last week, and whether the platform was to blame about the lack of women and people of colour at the top.
"Those numbers are just reflective of how many people subscribe to a certain channel," she said. "So this has a lot more to do with the demographic of Twitch, i.e. you guys right now, and which channels you decide to support."
She added that there was a larger conversation to be had about diversity in gaming, but, "Twitch can't force people to subscribe to female streamers more, or to creators of colour, or anything like that."
"That's on you guys," she said.
"Women have it MUCH easier on Twitch..." she said, referencing a common misconception that women are making all the money on Twitch by wearing suggestive clothing or streaming from hot tubs.
Amouranth, who has 4.4 million followers and whose real name is Kaitlyn Siragusa, has not yet commented publicly on the data leak. Siragusa was temporarily banned from Twitch in June for a "sexually suggestive" ASMR video where she licked a microphone and was recently banned for a fifth time.
Siragusa, Sintica, and Anys did not respond to requests for comment.