4 Things Twitch Streamers Can Learn From Kevin Durant About Dealing With Trolls


I know what you’re thinking…

“What does a 6’9 NBA All-Star have to do with Twitch Streaming?”

A few weeks ago the basketball icon Kevin Durant found himself on the losing end of an argument… with a 17-year-old fan.

This isn’t the first time he’s been in the news because of his social antics.

Near the end of 2017 he was busted having burner accounts that he used to defend himself and trash other players online.

There’s a lot that you can learn from this as a broadcaster.

One thing that makes Twitch unique has also become a bit of a hurdle for some streamers.

Twitch chat.

Dealing with the trolls, hate, or criticism in chat is a huge annoyance for some streamers. Some are even contemplating quitting because of it.

And I get it.

Streaming isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t want to subject themselves to that type of negativity every day.

But for those of you who are in it for the long haul, here’s four things you can learn from what Kevin Durant ISN’T doing to make your life easier as a streamer.

1 – You control your platform and it’s narrative.

As a streamer you set the tone for the narrative for the stream and your brand.  You get to control your platform.

If people are trolling your chat, you have the power to can delete it, ban the users, ignore what they are saying, and move on.

Kevin Durant constantly loses this battle as he engages the trolls and then the media picks it up and the story lasts for weeks. (…Even some Z-list gaming blogger is talking about it)

If you don’t give it any life, it will pass quickly.

Simply put: Ignore it. Delete it.

The one caveat is if it’s something that absolutely needs to be addressed. Then address it politely but firmly, and then move on. DO NOT create a discussion out of it.

A great example of this is when Dr. Disrespect returned to streaming after announcing he was taking a break due to his infidelity.

There were thousands of people spamming his chat making jokes, asking questions, and even donating with questions.

Even on social media:

The Doc could have spent all stream repeating the same answers, arguing with chat, and getting into flame wars responding to social media criticism.

But this is how he chose to handle it:

There could have been more of a fallout if he handled it poorly, but The Doc didn’t entertain it. He set the narrative and moved on.

Now a few months later we don’t hear much about it anymore.

2- Your level of success doesn’t change peoples opinion of you.

You can’t win everyone over.

Even if you’re back-to-back finals MVP awesome… not everyone is going to like you.

Sometimes we like to think that once we finally “make it” that we’ll be this unstoppable charismatic force that everyone loves.

Actually, your popularity and success can increase it the amount of backlash you receive.

Kevin Durant has over 700,000 posts about him on Instagram. Think those are all positive?

Understand that you won’t win everybody over. You won’t get them to understand your point of view.

3 – Reaching a level of success doesn’t change your ability to handle criticism.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that having more money, cars, a bigger house, more viewers, friends, accolades will change your ability to handle trolls.

Durant is the biggest proof that it wont.

Seriously, you think the opinion of a 17-year old on instagram REALLY matters to Kevin Durant? Anyone on the outside looking in can see how trivial this is. But since K.D. puts so much weight in public opinion, he feels like he has to defend his ego.

Success usually brings along those same insecurities that you have right now. And unfortunately with Twitch the public gets to pick at those insecurities every time you go live.

So you have to change what’s on the inside in order to deal with these things in a positive way.

Start by changing how you view these situations and how much weight you put into a random persons opinion (because that’s all they are). If it doesn’t align with your goals then give yourself the freedom to ignore it.

4 – You can be right without proving it.

The future of your streaming career (and probably life in general) will be SO much easier if you grasp this one concept.

No matter what choice you make there’s going to be someone that disagrees with you.

And that’s perfectly okay!

What works in one stream might not work in your stream. One viewer may hate something you do while another one absolutely loves it.

It’s a fact of life. But just knowing that doesn’t really solve the problem.

Let’s take a look at a real example from a top streamer Chance (Sodapoppin).

I feel for what Chance is going through because I was there once. I wanted to be everything to everyone and the stress it put me through was almost unbearable.

What’s right for you and the vision for your stream may not fit EVERY viewer. And that’s okay. Luckily, Twitch has 15 million unique viewers every day and growing.

Build a tribe around you that agrees with what you do and why you do it.

Make a clear and thoughtful decision on what you want to do and why you’re doing it. Then you stick to it.

That’s the way you win.

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