Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins, arguably the most popular streamer in the world, has challenged parents to monitor their children's online behaviour in a bid to crackdown on online toxicity.
Speaking to the New York Times, Blevins revealed that parents have a significant role to play when it comes to promoting healthier communication online.
“People are behind the screen,” he said. “They say what they want and can get away with it. You have complete anonymity… it sucks that there are kids who can say racist things and be incredibly aggressive and threatening to women online and have zero repercussions.”
Ninja Challenges Parents To Help Stamp Out Online Toxicity
“It all comes down to parenting,” Blevins explained.
“You want to know who your kid is? Listen to him when he’s playing video games when he thinks you’re not.”
Ninja also discussed the disappointingly common way that gamers hurl racial slurs online and during streams.
“Is it my job to have this conversation with this kid? No, because the first thing that’s going on in my head is, ‘This kid is doing this on purpose to troll me.’"
"If someone says a racial slur on someone else’s stream, it can potentially get that streamer banned. It’s awful, but that’s the first thing I think of," Blevins explains, pointing to Twitch's strict banning of streamers – even when it's not the streamer that uses racist language.
Blevins also noted that despite his incredible popularity on Twitch, he still receives plenty of toxicity during streams.
"You have to be the most sure person on the planet if you’re going to get into this and not be completely torn apart. If I didn’t have my wife and my family to talk to — everyone’s like, “Don’t listen to what people say.”
"All right, but when you’re reading “You suck [expletive]” 20 times in a chat, it’s going to get in your head."
In today's world, where we're all stuck indoors, it's arguably more important than ever to exhibit kindness. I've found a good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn't say it to someone in the street, don't say it online.