Charity Fundraiser, Gamer and Founder of GamingForGood receives horrendous grief, bad press and Cease and Desist Order from shady company TwitchAlerts. Read the full story on TwitchAlerts Vs Athene, got anything to add? Let me know. *all views my own
What is Twitch?
Twitch.tv, founded in 2011 is the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers. With over 1.7 million broadcasters and over 100 million community members, it’s a big deal.
Who/What is TwitchAlerts?
TwitchAlerts are a business. They provide a way for people to make Twitch.tv streams more interactive and allow people to donate money to the streamers, which is generally how streamers make money.
Who Is Athene?
Athene (Real name, Bachir Boumaaza) is a Philanthropist/Pro Gamer – he streams on Twitch.tv and did use TwitchAlerts himself up until recently. He is the founder and face of gamingforgood.net
What is GamingForGood? (G4G)
GamingForGood is described by peripheral giant Razer as:
“The brainchild of Athene, this online platform raises money for the charity organization, Save the Children. Contributions are rewarded by points, which can then be used to redeem for games that have been donated by gaming companies. The funds are used to train health workers to provide children with much needed healthcare with the aim of lowering child mortality rates.”
It is a fantastic platform and now offers a functionality similar to TwitchAlerts (and similar services, TA being the biggest) G4G now directly compete with TwitchAlerts.
What’s the beef?
G4G released their own alternative to TwitchAlerts. Marketing it as entirely free, no fees to the streamers, ever, more functionality, better functionality and more payment methods.
I’m sure you can see why the company wouldn’t like that.
They sent a laughable Cease and Desist Order which Athene read out on his Youtube channel, calling the statements in the letter “lies” and stating “That is flat out a lie, even furthermore putting this in a Cease and Desist directed to me just shows to which extent you are willing to go to censor what I have to say”
“TwitchAlerts is free to use, we do not charge any fees and there is no monthly price”
But it isn’t so black and white.
In January 2015, TwitchAlerts sent out a newsletter informing* customers of a new 1% fee automatically taken from every donation. 1% might not seem like a big deal, but with around 100 million dollars in donations through their platform, that adds up fast.
*informing, No. I’m the Digital Marketing Manager of a large telecoms company. If I could get even 50% of my customers to read my newsletters I would be due a pay rise. Across all industries in the UK the average newsletter open-rate is around 21%
This is wrong. Companies simply can’t start charging people money without clearly telling them. A bank would contact you directly via email should any changes occur, it would not be via a newsletter and a blog post.
Athene to go to Jail for Spamming???
On the 27th March 2016 TwitchAlerts sent a Cease and Desist to Athene calling for him to:
- Cease and Desist all harassment,
- Stop Making slanderous claims about TwitchAlerts such as:
- TwitchAlerts not notifying customers about charging fees in the past
- Blaming TwitchAlerts for viewbotting (and accusing Athene of viewbotting)
- Impersonating TwitchAlerts
- Directing followers to spam “gaming for good” to our customers while they are on stream
You can check out the document for details.
On the 29th Of March 2016, Youtube Giant “DramaAlert” who have 1.2 million subscribers and 155,356,94 views to date got involved in the action. They interviewed Athene about the issue and Athene put his point across, including facts about recent shady practices TwitchAlerts have been involved with. You can view that here.
On the 30th March 2016 CEO Ali Moiz of TwitchAlerts finally accepted the chance to have a chat directly with Athene, on stream, and frankly he got destroyed.
Athene Gets Viewbotted
For those not in the know, Viewbotting is when your stream, or Youtube video, for example, is viewed by fake robots which can cause some serious problems.
Athene has been consistently viewbotted to the point that he considered stopping streaming all together around February as it was potentially damaging to G4G. So he made an announcement to stop streaming and he indeed stopped.
However, there was a category 1 disaster in Ethiopia. It was the worst drought for 50 years. Athene flew over to do what he could. Meanwhile he found out that streamers were hesitant to fund-raise for Athene because they were losing trust due to his constantly inflated views. There was a video posted about it here.
Athene Strikes Back
G4G has some pretty cool functionality TwitchAlerts doesn’t. Of course, TwitchAlerts very quickly implemented this functionality and Athene struck back, hard.
Athene suggested to his followers to go to the streams using TwitchAlerts and use their new feature which will play a Youtube video when people donate on their stream.
And we did. I personally donated $10 directly to a streamer with a small audience with a link to one of the videos Athene uploaded letting users know about G4G. The streamers I donated to paused their game, read my message, watched the video and said they would try it and obviously were thankful for the $10. Loads of people did this and TwitchAlerts is stating this is illegal and spam.
That is absolutely absurd. TwitchAlerts do not own their users and I don’t think a single one of the streamers who received free money just for being sent a link would have an issue with that.
Athene has since asked his viewers not to continue donating money to streamers with links to any of his videos, or mentioning him or G4G in anyway.
TwitchAlerts Vs Athene
- TwitchAlerts employee “Cronoh” or “Andrew Steele” was found to be spamming Athene. TwitchAlerts reprimanded him for it.
- Twitch Alerts CEO Ali Moiz admitted live on stream that he actualy wrote the Cease and Desist letter himself
- Ali Moiz has previously been involved with a 200,000 strong botnet (Source)
- He went on Athene’s stream and personally spread hate (as admitted by Ali Moiz on livestream)
- TwitchAlerts censored all mentions of Athene, G4G & disabled any YT video from the past 30 days in all communication via the TA donation system
- TA did a blatant rip off of G4G platform functionality.
- Athene has been viewbotted consistently throughout this process
- Athene has raised more than $20m for charity
- Athene takes 0% from donations via his platform to charity
- Athene raised $100k in the worlds longest interactive livestream and is donating it right back to the community
I think it’s clear TwitchAlerts were looking for a good way to monetize their platform and Athene got in the way and they tried to threaten and bully him into stopping as much activity as they could that could potentially take customers away from TwitchAlerts.
More so, TwitchAlerts has an extremely questionable past and are frankly trying to threaten and intimidate Athene. Is this the kind of company that we want to support? If you know anybody who uses Twitch.TV, you should tell them about G4G. Not because of this drama but because it’s awesome.
You can find Athene streaming, and you can donate to Save The Children, or Athene here: https://www.gamingforgood.net/s/athenelive
Update: Athene Vs TwitchAlerts, Conclusion
Seems to me, this “drama” has come to a close. Athenes reputation was temporarily damaged by TwitchAlerts, and maybe Athene made a few minor mis-judgements. But at the end of the day, when the facts came to light, TwitchAlerts was found to be dishonest, devious & malicious with an extremely “questionable” past. At least Save The Children are getting a $10,000 donation and G4G will be okay. All in all, a satisfying conclusion?
Athenes Conclusion Video
Athene has released this video, a few highlights and key takeaways:
“I have actually been when it comes down to reporting on factual correctness I’ve been way more consistent than TwitchAlerts themselves because they have been throwing accusations at me like crazy; its a list of lies and also claiming they have proof for for things I Haven’t done at all”
“If they want to repair the damage caused – 10k won’t be enough, but hey it will help children’s lives and all this stuff will blow over”
“At the end of the day, one thing doesn’t work on the internet: Trying to silence people and brute force that. If he doesn’t understand that, he will be replaced as a CEO or crash and burning his own company into the ground, because that is the only scenario if you try to go after me“
“I will just keep streaming and if TwitchAlerts does stuff that is against the gaming community spirit, I will always report on that. He mentioned he might go after me if I do that, but honestly, I’m not going to censor myself in any shape or form”
“He wrote the Cease and Desist himself and he knew it was filled with lies”
There is a full transcribed text file of Athenes latest video put into a Google doc here if you want to view it. To search it for any quotes in partcular (Disclaimer: Youtube automatic transcribing is not the best at dealing with Athenes accent)
I would like to note: Ali Moiz has promised to donate $10,000 to Save The Children. This may be guilt money, or damage limitation cash, but either way he did not have to do that, I think we should have a positive takeaway from that.
I have reached out to TwitchAlerts for a final comment. I have yet to receive a response.