Popular streamer Imane “Pokimane” Anys has announced that she will enforce a $5 USD cap on donations to her Twitch stream.
For streamers, viewer donations can be a mixed bag. For a fledgling streamer hoping to build a presence and earn an income, they can be a source of much-needed support. Less so for the handful of individuals who have already made the big time, for whom donations represent small additions to their multi-million-dollar bank accounts.
Imane Anys, better known by her streaming moniker “Pokimane”, is certainly among these lucky few. Following up the buzz she generated playing Among Us with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Pokimane thanked fans for their support throughout her streaming career and announced that she’d be limiting donations to a maximum of $5 USD.
She described herself as being in a situation where anything more than that amount was unnecessary. She invited her followers to instead “please support growing channels, charities, and treat yourselves.”
Donations are far from Pokimane’s primary source of income, most of which rolls in from monthly subscription payments, ad revenue, merchandise sales and business deals. At the beginning of the year, Kotaku reported that she had engaged in a deal with Twitch that netted her $4.5 million USD.
Pokimane has worked with Streamlabs to set a custom max donation amount to only $5 on her channel
“I consider anything more than that unnecessary”
— Wicked Good Gaming (@WickedGoodGames) November 2, 2020
Her $5 cap seems to be intended, at least in part, to combat the type of problematic donations that streamers often receive. Some viewers have been known to donate hundreds, even thousands of dollars, often from precarious financial positions.
Receiving such amounts can only be embarrassing to a streamer like Pokimane, both because of her significant existing wealth, and the perceived phenomenon of desperate, horny dudes (disparagingly labelled ‘simps’) attempting to purchase her attention at prices that they can ill afford.
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While the move to cap donations was well received and respected by the community, some major names were more reserved with their praise.
Streamer Félix “xQc” Lengyel commented that, while he approved of Pokimane’s decision, he worried that it would lead viewers to expect the example to be followed by others. During his stream, he said “We never, ever celebrate anyone doing something good. We always shame others for not doing it.”
xQc is correct in observing that Pokimane’s actions have raised the ethical bar, and utterly wrong in saying that the bar should not be raised. Uncapped donations have historically led to vulnerable viewers engaging in harmful spending, and cannot possibly be justified – especially when the recipient is already extremely wealthy.
Pokimane deserves to be congratulated for taking initiative on this issue, and it’s our hope that her fellow streamers examine their situations and take steps to protect their viewers from themselves.
worked with @streamlabs to create a donation cap of $5 for my channel!
Thank you for supporting me to the point where I consider anything more than that unnecessary. To anyone that was more generous- please support growing channels, charities, and treat yourselves.❤️😊 pic.twitter.com/QhrusbDFxD
— pokimane (@pokimanelol) November 2, 2020