Give credits where it's due: Pokimane's online personality wasn't always such a ripe hotbed for controversy.
In her initial years on Twitch, Imane "Pokimane" Anys slowly cultivated a reputation for being one of the first streamers who actually actively engaged with her audience. Chatting with fans, Q&A, giveaways; she was one of the early pioneers of what is now a 'set in stone' trend for streamers.
However, over the years, despite her blossoming career and boasting over four million followers on the platform, Pokimane's online personality and channel have been the subject of a lot of criticism.
Being famous is never truly a walk in the park, and the problems for Poki started to crop up when many started spewing spiteful comments under her social media posts, accusing her fans of being 'simps'.
So what exactly is a 'simp'?
Simp is a colloquial slang which is a derogatory term referring to men "who are viewed as too submissive toward women, especially online personalities, from whom they hope to achieve some kind of romantic attention for their efforts."
And it has been a growing consensus among many platform visitors, and even some prominent YouTubers, that Pokimane's subscribers and viewers majorly consists of 'simps'. Some of them have even gone as far as going to her social media platforms to type some derogatory comments about her fan base.
Pokimane is no stranger to the spite
This has been going on for years, and Pokimane is no stranger to this. In one of her recent Q&A videos, on the 20th of June (to celebrate 5 million subscribers on YouTube), she talked about the 'simps' issue which for her seems to be kind of getting out of hand.
"I gotta admit, it can be kind of disturbing, the stuff that people say," she said when talking about the hateful comments she gets online.
"Sometimes, just the worst side of people will come out online," she continued, "Because they know that they can't really be held liable for it. Either way, I kind of try to avoid my exposure to peoples' comments all the time, because I don't think it's too good for my mental health."
No matter how overwhelming the level of toxicity there is in the comments that she receives, Pokimane tries to take it in a very positive note, and takes it with an "it is what it is" sort of mentality.
'Simps' can often take it a bit too far
Now, whether you agree with the 'simp' terminology or not, you will at least have to consider the fact that many of Poki's followers tend to go overboard with their love and appreciation of her.
The comments and replies that she receives from a majority of her fans are often cringe-worthy, and some even borderline barge on being creepy.
Take the example of one of her recent tweets on the 15th of February (one day after Valentine's day), where she actually posted, 'happy simp day…'
While the tweet itself is not all that alarming, it's the comments that follow which show an unhealthy level of attention that the streamer enjoys from some of her fan base.
Here is an example of some of the comments:
The thought of donating $6,000 to an online personality is just too insane.
And such a trend has been heavily-represented and criticised by YouTuber It' sAGundam, who took up this very 'simping' culture in Pokimane's stream and made a video out of it. Unsurprisingly, it did not sit well with the 'stream queen'.
The It' sAGundam vs Pokimane controversy
On the 13th of May, It' sAGundam uploaded a video titled "Simp willingly goes homeless for Pokimane," which highlights one of the biggest social problems that the online stream universe is facing at the moment.
It' sAGundam raised the issue that there have been more and more people who have been donating ridiculous sums of money to the online personalities they love and adore. He specifically took up the issues with Pokimane and her fanbase.
He highlighted a Twitter user who claimed to have donated $1,000 to Pokimane, even when he was four months behind on his rent. However, he wasn't the only one doing this, as there have been many such donors who couldn't help themselves and donated all they could to the streamer.
Needless to say, Pokimane was furious with the video, and went on to rant about things like "I can't believe anyone would sponsor these shenanigans. Like what? And I will say, for this company to sponsor a video that's literally 20 minutes of talking sh*t about me…You will never see… if you ever reach out to me, if I ever see you in my inbox."
Pokimane did not just stop at criticising the YouTuber, but went as far as to attack the sponsors behind the channel. This led to her receiving a lot of backlash from those in social media, who didn't agree with her stance on the matter.
However, her criticism didn't end here alone, and some even spilt over and surfaced as soon as she decided to sign a deal with Cloak.
Pokimane and Cloak controversy
On the 18th of June, Pokimane tweeted that she had signed up with a clothing brand called Cloak, as a partner as well as a creative director.
However, the internet didn't seem to take the news in a positive stride, and Pokimane faced a lot of criticism because of this.
Both Markiplier and Jacksepticeye are well-known YouTubers who're famous for playing games like Minecraft, Last of Us and other horror genres.
And after signing with them, Pokimane's Twitter handle was severely-criticised by many, and here are some of the replies:
One Twitter user even went as far as to ask Pokimane about the previous It' sAGundam controversy and stated that the streamer was yet to apologise for taking her anger out on the sponsor.
For the majority of 2020, Pokimane has been under fire from a lot of critics, and it seems that the 'simps' controversy is slowly snowballing out of control for her.