For many video game enthusiasts, Twitch is a rich hub of creative content. For many gamers looking to pocket a steady income stream, the platform is also a lucrative one. Most of the time, Twitch streams make for easy viewing and can create vibrant gaming communities. However, once in a while, controversies occur.
1. A Twitch Favorite’s Death Leads to a Toxic Backlash
In 2020, streaming star Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein sadly passed away. The streaming personality had been a regular fixture on Twitch for several years and had been open about his mental health demons and struggles with depression. After Bernstein took his own life, his following launched a stream of vicious attacks on other Twitch streamers he had come into contact with in the past. Unfortunately, this level of toxicity is by no means a one-off occurrence on the platform and Twitch faces an uphill battle to control it.
2. A Streamer Receives a Lifetime Ban (Then Sues for Damages)
Back in 2016, James ‘Phantoml0rd’ Vagra received a lifetime ban after Twitch decided the streamer had violated several affiliate guidelines. The most significant of these rule breaches was Vagra’s financial connection with CS:GO Shuffle, a skin gambling site. At the time of his ban, Vagra was one of the most successful streamers operating on Twitch. For Vagra, this ban proved a financial disaster, cutting him off from a once-lucrative revenue stream. However, that wasn’t the end of things. In 2018, Vagra launched a legal case against Twitch. After three long years of court battles, the wronged streamer emerged victorious, an estimated $20,720.
3. Snoop Dog Goes SIlent
Less a controversial moment and more a week of weirdness, followers of Snoop Dog were left scratching their heads in 2021 when the rapper’s stream was broadcast without any sound for seven days straight. Many viewers assumed it was a technical error on Snoop Dog’s part, but the actual reason lay with music licensing issues. Snoop Dog regularly plays music as he streams, which is in direct violation of Twitch’s music copyright guidelines.
4. Trump vs. Twitch
Donald J. Trump is known for many things, but video game live streaming isn’t one of them. Even before assuming office, Trump was a regular presence on several social media platforms. However, it’s his ill-judged Twitter tirades that have become the stuff of legend. What you might not know is that Donald Trump also had a Twitch account registered in his name. Although he never made use of the platform to promote his unpopular opinions, the platform nonetheless decided to ban the then-sitting president back in June 2020. Interestingly, it was his actions outside of the platform itself that earned him his ban, making him something of a unique case.
5. A Grooming Tutorial with a Difference
This is one of the more recent controversies to hit the Twitch world. It’s also one of the weirdest. In 2022, a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive streamer decided to put the breaks on gameplay and reach for the clippers. Next, the streamer in question progressed to perform a little manscaping in full view of the camera. Thankfully, this channel wasn’t particularly well established, meaning only a small audience was subjected to the bizarre spectacle. Nonetheless, the streamer received an immediate ban, with all clips of the incident removed from the platform.
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6. An Accidental Cameo
In 2021, Brazil-based streamer Tayhuhu was dealt a ban when her young daughter wandered in front of the lens. The incident was innocent enough, with Tayhuhu distracted by a delivery. Nonetheless, Twitch deemed this a violation of the terms and service and had no qualms about serving a ban. Although by no means a big hitter, Tayhuhu had been slowly building a solid audience base, which the unexpected ban instantly decimated. Sadly, Tayhuhu’s story is not unique. Many streamers face similarly harsh penalties for such minor violations, while other streamers face no consequence when bending the rules until breaking point.