We’re starting to think that public relations may not be Matt Gaetz’s forte.

Gaetz is an alleged sex criminal. Gaetz used his social media accounts to announce his arrival on the platform. His America First message will be brought to a new generation of viewers.

The announcement came at a bad time. A disturbing report was published yesterday about how child predator use the internet to engage with children and teens.

Screenshot of Matt Gaetz Tweet

The Department of Justice and the House Ethics Committee are investigating whether the Representative had a sexual relationship with a 17-year old girl after paying for her to cross state lines. Gaetz has been implicated in the sex-trafficking activities of his friend and associate. Gaetz denied doing anything wrong.

Most of that has nothing to do with the report, which identified nearly 2,000 accounts belonging to adults, but mostly following young streamers.

What else did the report say?

The data comes from a researcher who was granted anonymity due to concerns over career repercussions from being associated with such a disturbing topic. They independently reviewed and confirmed parts of the analysis.

The researcher manually looked through the accounts and videos on the platform to find predatory accounts. If 70% of the children or young teenagers in the account were under the age of 18, it was considered predatory. Hundreds of predatory accounts followed more than 1,000 kids each, and they found that almost 300,000 children were targeted by apparent predator on twitch.

From the news agency.

The unusual patterns of behavior seen in these accounts indicate that many exist primarily to catalog, watch and manipulate children, including enticing them to perform everything from suggestive dances to explicit sexual acts, according to the findings.

Some of the features on the platform seem to be contributing to how vulnerable kids are on the platform. When a child is online, they can receive notifications from their alleged predator. Kids can receive hundreds of live viewers within a few minutes of going live, far more than what is expected for an account that isn't a featured streamer.

Some pretty unnerving interactions have arisen from the live chat aspect of twitch. One example was where an 11 year-old girl received 650 live viewers at the same time. She was asked to appear in a fashion show.

One of the most fundamental responsibilities of a society is to prevent child harm. One of our main priorities is to prevent our service from being used for harm. The spokesman said, "We know that online platforms can be used to cause harm to children, and we have made extensive investments over the last two years to better stay ahead of bad actors."

According to the company, it has increased the size of its law enforcement response team focused on child exploitation, and that it has updates in the works to bar would-be-predators from the platform. The details of the report suggest that something more is needed.