Jordi Machiavelli: “This is how they kicked me out of Twitch. The platforms are suckers, they take advantage of us” | Technology
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Last January 31 the streamer Jordi Machiavelli wanted to say goodbye to Twitch. He had been without his channel for seven months and a week, but he opened another one just to say goodbye to his followers. He announced it on Twitter, came in and it was an emotional live show, full of sadness. He was saying goodbye to what had been his platform since 2019 and from which he had been expelled in June 2021 for an alleged third copyright infringement. At that time Machiavelli entered 1,200-1,300 euros from Twitch: “It was my main job, they cut off my progression and ruined my career. To think that I will never be able to appear on Twitch again after all that I had achieved with many years of work … I was in that live destroyed, ”he says.
Machiavelli’s direct that day was a provocation and a complaint. Instead of accepting his expulsion and shutting him up, he had gone back to Twitch to explain himself. Nobody in the company seemed to care, because the next day they returned his channel, where he now has 113,000 followers, and the money they owed him for all those months. Even today it is not clear what exactly happened.
— Jordi Machiavello (Hero’s Journey) (@JMaquiavello) January 31, 2022
Machiavelli’s case is one more that illustrates the arbitrariness of platforms in decisions that can affect the future employment of more and more creators: “Platforms benefit from us, they are suckers for all the money we generate,” he says in conversation with EL PAIS in Barcelona, where he lives. Machiavelli’s problem, 23 years old and from Pontevedra, was not directly with Twitch, but with Warner Media. Machiavelli, who is a stage name, had a verbal agreement with a Spanish employee of Warner to transmit and comment on the company’s films: “It was a two-and-a-half-hour film, for example, and the direct one lasted eight hours,” he explains. He put many classics: Citizen Kane, The Shining, Blade Runner.
He then warmed up and moved on to newer movies. One day she decided to comment The Justice League, by Zack Snyder, the day of its premiere. Now, in retrospect, Machiavelli accepts that he still took his deal with Warner “to the extreme”: “I understand that morally, perhaps, it could be considered,” he says. “The next day I get a strike on Twitch,” he adds. A strike is the dreaded foul for all creators on big platforms. The third, they close it.
The problem with Machiavelli is that his channel came to depend on the will of a guy from Warner Media in the US: ”I contact the complainant’s email and tell the movement that I have an agreement with Spain. And he answers me so coolly that I had no right to broadcast those films, ”he explains. That was not all. After three days, he received the second warning: “It was another direct from two months ago and I thought that this man was claiming all of them at once to throw my channel away. I ran to eliminate them. He was on the brink of the abyss,” he says.
2/2/2022. A day I will never forget. Not only did I get my Twitch channel back after 7 long months, but we also hit 100,000 followers. Thanks for all the messages, thanks for all the love, thanks for supporting and fighting since June. This victory is ours. pic.twitter.com/aGZ8vzgWhF
— Jordi Machiavello (Hero’s Journey) (@JMaquiavello) February 3, 2022
At that time Machiavelli grew a lot with another of his interests: video games. Ibai Llanos had promoted Marbella Vice, where more than 100 streamersincluding Machiavelli. He is not one of the streamers better known, but his age and dedication placed him in a comfortable life within the sector, although his goal is to end up dedicating himself to cinema, which is what he studied in Vigo.
When to a streamer they close the channel for months, his audience is not something that he can recover immediately or as he left it: “I was then on Twitch with averages of 1,000-1,500 people in all direct. It was outrageous. And, furthermore, now that on Twitch it takes a lot of the series of streamers“, He says. After Marbella there have been at least two others where Machiavelli has not been able to participate because he was off the platform.
However, his final expulsion came for something that Machiavelli still does not understand today. It was for a song, not for a movie. “I had a playlist of music to play in the background of live shows and it was all very classical music at its core: Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra,” he says. “And one day, suddenly, on a live show, it stops. I can’t see the chat. I update the page. My channel has been closed. No longer exists. This was on June 19 and I go to my social networks and see a lot of messages about what has happened. I go into my email and it says that they had claimed a song from me two weeks ago, ”he adds.
the song was summer timeby Ella Fitzgerald. “I thought it was Lana del Rey’s and they just claim a song that hasn’t been played live,” she says. Apparently you had been an American authors association. “So I complained and told them ‘hey, what is this? I’ve never played this song live’. And I didn’t get an answer,” she says. That’s where the odyssey began: seven months without a channel, without responses to emails, without knowing what exactly had happened. “It was a wall, there was no possible communication,” she recalls. And that on Twitter there were campaigns of support and complaints.
Even today, with the channel restored, Machiavelli does not know precisely what happened. To questions from EL PAÍS, Twitch does not make specific comments on the case. It only refers to links to their community policies. Machiavelli wrote again and again to emails with his complaints, but “bots responded, they were automated responses.” It was the void: “Imagine that you are fired without giving you any reason, because someone has complained about you and I am very sorry, you are already out. It seems incredible to me. But people on the Internet have normalized this bashing. People are afraid”.
with a button
Twitch was washing his hands. A Warner Media executive could end the career of a young Spaniard just by pressing a button. Machiavelli was perfectly aware. He learned from someone on Twitch that the only way to get the channel back was to have it removed. strike. “I even sent this guy from Warner Media a voicemail. I left a voice mail on his phone desperately asking him to please help me. I also wrote to him and I see the mail right now and it’s embarrassing because it’s pitiful. It was an email of desperation, of please. of you are ruining me mediatically, ”he says.
Instead of forgiveness, a new punishment came from Warner on the other platform where he usually works, YouTube. ”They responded to me, but in an aggressive way. I had uploaded a video of an analysis of euphoria to YouTube, an HBO series. I got a strike on YouTube for that claim. The first time in my life that I got a strike on YouTube and it gives me the email of the claimant and it was this person from Warner Media again. That was two days after the messages. His response was to piss me off more. I don’t understand why, I don’t understand the cruelty,” she explains.
The platforms, to avoid further problems, delegate copyright claims directly to those affected, in this case Hollywood studios. Counterclaims are then met with unclear or automated responses. The platforms also reserve all kinds of rights. For example, about something that worried Machiavelli a lot: when do the strikes. It is not known exactly, according to Twitch’s terms: “They are not permanent, but are associated with an account long enough for Twitch to determine if the account holder is committing a repeated violation.” When we feel like it, they come to say.
Machiavelli began uploading videos to YouTube as a teenager, more than 10 years ago. He took his interest in the cinema to comment on soundtracks, such as Game of Thrones. At first he even refused to monetize his videos to avoid problems. Then he saw the money he was losing and began to see the system from the inside. On YouTube, when he uploads a video with fragments of series that are going to be claimed, he knows that they are going to challenge him. Machiavelli resorts and the big production companies stretch the deadlines they have, even though the use of the images is legitimate, to illustrate or educate.
Not all production companies are the same, admits Machiavelli. Netflix or Disney, for example, respond quickly and you can upload the video sooner. In other cases, you must wait up to three months. “I always tell those who are dedicated to this to fight it to the end, because you always win, because the last tool they have is to file a lawsuit,” he says.
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