Twitch Bans Galore: Dictatorship or the Rightful Establishing of Order?
We are sure you are all well aware of Twitch and its popularity. Also, that the Twitch universe is comprised of its own set of rules, but if you just browse over Twitch related topics that preoccupy the eSports community, you’ll soon become aware of their common denominator – Twitch bans.
Twitch Bans Whatever Twitch Wants
And even though Silicon Valley big shots aren’t ever shy of establishing their own set of rules you are obliged to live by them if you want to be the user of their products, Twitch bans are a level (or few) above anything we’ve seen. For instance, the now famous January social media ban Donald Trump faced was all over the place, but other than that, can you think of an example of another talked about ban covered by the media? Probably not. But, when it comes to Twitch, it’s all about those Twitch bans.
Twitch was, of course, also on the Trump ban(d)wagon this time, but January wasn’t even their first time in banning him, since, obviously, if there is a ban, there is a Twitch. Twitch bans streamers, Twitch bans games, Twitch bans words, Twitch even bans emojis. And very often the reasons behind those bans aren’t even publicly disclosed. So in a vastly unregulated world of eSports, it’s kind of ironic how an awful lot is revolving around forbidding people (and machines) to do something.
Some People Can, Some Can’t
In the latest controversy, Twitch banned Fortnite streamer Clix in yet another bizarre case (or maybe we should say “normal case” since they are more often bizarre than not). Clix accidentally flashed a thumbnail-sized photo of another streamer’s butt while on stream and started panicking immediately. Soon after that, he announced on Twitter that he was permanently banned. He was unbanned two days after, possibly because his ban caused a storm on social media with hashtag #freeclix trending. On the other hand, just to draw a comparison, one other streamer recently fully exposed herself in front of a camera, claiming she thought she was making an Only Fans content. She faced almost the same consequences as Clix – she was banned for three days.
Of course, with issuing so many bans come the problems of unequally distributed righteousness. Twitch was (and is) often accused of wrongfully banning streamers, and equally so for having double standards and not punishing some enough.
Double Standards Or Strict Policies
A month ago, Twitch’s double standards were put under the spotlight once again, when they permanently banned streamer ‘AverageHarry’ for creating his account when he was under 13 (he is now 15). Quickly after that, the community raged about how they should then do the same with a bunch of streamers who have a million-sub following and who were also obviously under the age of 13 when they opened their accounts, which they, of course, never did.
You can already see the pattern. Twitch is obviously huge and very hard to moderate, but many of their bans are misplaced. Sometimes it seems they are not doing enough to regulate the community, and sometimes they seem to make severely unjust decisions. A good thing then that the community is always there to regulate the regulators aka to call them out whenever they make big errors in judgment.
We are not here to answer the question from the title though; it’s far too complex, even for the justices and courts around the world. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be raised over and over again.
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