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Twitch Bans That Were Completely Bogus

In the olden days, if you wanted to make it as an entertainer, you needed a song in your heart, a spring in your step, and a successful movie/musical audition. These days, it seems all you need is a camera. Anyone can shoot videos on literally any subject and post them onto a variety of distributing sites. This has lowered the barrier of entry, which guarantees there is no shortage of videos on sites such as Twitch. However, when anyone can post a video on a site, everyone tends to. The resulting account population explosion has created a logistical nightmare for those trying to police platforms.

Since Twitch is a privately owned company, its executives need to keep their shareholders happy and prune away anyone who causes trouble. So, it's not uncommon for even the most popular content creators to be hit with a face full of banhammer. Usually, a streamer is removed because of poor behavior or for flouting copyright laws, but every now and then, a ban is subject to human error on the platform's part.

Quite a few Twitch streamers have been banned for reasons that are completely bogus. Here are some of the more notable examples of bans that probably shouldn't have happened in the first place.

Disguised Toast - Banned for another player's rant

The growth of internet-based entertainment has birthed new genres of videos. Before sites such as YouTube and Twitch, not many people thought of producing content where they superimposed their reactions over other videos (except for "Mystery Science Theater 3000," of course). Streamers such as Jeremy "Disguised Toast" Wang have learned the hard way that these "reaction videos" can open a Pandora's Box of bans if they react to inflammatory content.

In late April 2021, Wang announced via Twitter that Twitch had banned him for "unmoderated hateful conduct." After a bit of sleuthing, Disguised Toast (as well as sites such as Sportskeeda and Dot Esports) came to the conclusion he was probably banned because of a video where he reacted to increasingly salty "PUBG" clips. The final clip in the anthology of anguish featured a younger Disguised Toast smiling while a freshly-killed opponent vented their frustration through an offensive homophobic rant punctuated with f-bombs. In the original clip, Toast didn't try to defuse the situation, and while viewing the video, he again didn't comment on the offensive language. The general consensus is that Twitch viewed the rant as a bannable offense, even though the ranter was unaffiliated with Disguised Toast and his channel — he was just a rando "PUBG" contender who died at the hands and bullets of Disguised Toast, not a subscriber.

Twitch has a responsibility to keep hate speech off the airwaves, but Disguised Toast was still banned for something someone else said, and long after the fact. Game Rant's Stan Hogeweg argued that Toast's fate highlighted Twitch's backwards and unjust methods of moderation.

Projekt Melody - Banned because she allegedly didn't own her own avatar

Want to stream yourself playing video games, but don't want to show your face? Thanks to Vtubing, that worry is a thing of the past. You can now replace yourself with a cute anime girl, but because of copyright laws, you need a custom digital creation to serve as your virtual mask. Unfortunately, that solution can cause even more copyright problems — and Twitch issues.

Projekt Melody is a Vtuber persona who, according to her own fictional bio, is an artificial intelligence that became self-aware after she was infected by a virus. In reality, she was designed by 3D artist DigitrevX at the request of the real-life content creator who oversees the virtual Projekt Melody. According to The Verge, DigitrevX created $5,000 worth of assets.

In November 2020, DigitrevX filed numerous DMCA takedowns aimed at Projekt Melody material, which labeled the content creator as a "repeat infringer" and resulted in her immediate ban. DigitrevX claimed they owned the Projekt Melody character IP and were owed money. In response, the Projekt Melody content creator fired back with transcripts indicating she paid DigitrevX the $5,000 owed and that DigitrevX signed off on an IP ownership transfer.

While Twitch reinstated Projekt Melody's account, DigitrevX has since posted their own transcripts indicating they provided far more work than just the initial avatar, including tech support and merchandising networking, and haven't been fully reimbursed. Given the "he said, she said” nature of the argument, this fight over a pixelated anime girl is probably far from over.

Boneclinks - Banned due to a moderator's mistake

When someone is banned from Twitch, it is usually for a good reason, or at the very least for a reason. Every now and then, however, a Twitch ban's rationale slips through the cracks, which is usually a pretty good sign that the ban was bogus.

In November 2019, Andrew "Boneclinks" Steel suddenly found himself banned from Twitch. He received no email and no warning, just the depths of sadness that come with finding yourself locked out of the streaming platform that bankrolls your life. To add salt to the wound, according to Dexerto, Boneclinks had just gotten his channel back after a previous ban, only to have his streaming privileges mysteriously yanked out from under him once again.

Five days after the ban, Boneclinks breathed a sigh of relief and updated fans via Twitter that his account had been reinstated. According to the streamer, Twitter apologized. But, the email he received didn't explain why he had been banned for the better part of a week in the first place, just that the company had "made a mistake." Five days worth of revenue down the drain because Twitch done goofed. Boneclinks was not amused, and neither were his fans.

TF Blade - Banned because Twitch moderators misheard him

Lots of Twitch streamers have been banned because they said something offensive, whether it was a rant laden with offensive language or an explosive cloud of anger. Former Team Liquid member Ashkan "TF Blade" Homayouni is a prime example, as he was banned because of something he said. Well, it arguably wasn't exactly what he said, but rather what Twitch moderators thought he said.

In April 2019, TF Blade was suffering through a difficult game of "League of Legends" when he finally snapped (a common occurrence, mind you). He was so annoyed that he unloaded his rage on his fellow players and called them "idiots." However, Twitch's moderators heard him say the n-word and suspended him for 30 days.

Try as they might, nobody else heard TF Blade say the slur when rewatching the clip, including Team Liquid owner Steve Arhancet. TF Blade tried to appeal, but Twitch stuck to its ruling — sort of. TF Blade's account wasn't immediately reinstated, but his ban was reduced from a sizable 30 days to seven. Moreover, Twitch's response stated that numerous members on the Partner Conduct team heard the alleged racial slur during an "objective review."

Ex-Riot Games consultant Nathan "blaustoise" Blau has postulated that if viewers expect to hear "idiots," they are "primed" to hear it. Could that imply the "objective" Twitch employees watched TF Blade's clip expecting the n-word, and that this was all a literal misunderstanding?

Amouranth - Banned because of a troll

Many streamers use a gimmick to stand out from the crowd. Kaitlyn "Amouranth" Siragusa, for example, is a jack of all trades. She is a painter, cosplayer, and all-round entertainer who managed to dethrone Pokimane as the top female Twitch streamer. But, Amouranth's modus operandi has led to a good deal of internet hate and a couple of suspensions from Twitch. However, not all her bans were the result of wardrobe malfunctions; good-natured naïveté was once to blame.

One of Amouranth's favorite streaming pastimes is just chatting with her audience, and she usually tries to moderate her stream and crack down on inappropriate behavior, which results in many a banned viewer. But, Amouranth offers offenders a chance to appeal and rejoin the fold. As reported by Dexerto, one troll took advantage of Amouranth's good will and seemingly asked for forgiveness. But, to spite Amouranth, the troll changed their profile picture to something decidedly explicit, and when Amouranth reviewed the appeal request, the troll sprung their trap and reported her.

Amouranth fell hook, line, and sinker for the ploy and was banned. Despite audience fears, this wasn't a case of "three strikes, you're out," since she only received a 24-hour slap on the wrist. When she returned, Amouranth summed up her ban by stating, "I get in trouble for it, because someone else was a moron."

Twitch might have a staunch "no explicit content" stance, but even the platform's moderators seemed to realize Amouranth was the victim here.

ZilianOP - Banned because he stood up

Lots of Twitch gaming streamers spend most of their time sitting down, and  anyone who has sat in front of a screen for hours on end understands the importance of standing every once in a while. But, what if you are in a wheelchair and have spent the past several years telling audiences you need one to move around? In the case of Angel "ZilianOP" Hamilton, you stand up anyway and pay for it.

2013 started off normally for ZilianOP. He had made a living playing Blizzard Entertainment games such as "Diablo" and "World of Warcraft" for 12-hour stretches, and he also accepted donations that went towards his disability-related expenses. But early in April, after a grueling session, ZilianOP took a breather by walking away from the stream. The revelation that ZilianOP could stand/walk shook viewers to their cores, and as noted by Eurogamer, accusations that he faked his disability for monetary gain flew like fireworks. Twitch picked up on the outcry and irrevocably banned ZilianOP, who immediately disappeared from the public eye.

However, it turns out that the situation wasn't as cut and dry as audiences thought. In 2020, YouTuber Wavywebsurf interviewed ZilianOP and learned that he had been going to physical therapy for years. At the time of the fateful stream, ZilianOP hadn't completely cast off his wheelchair reliance, but he was strong enough to stand for limited amounts of time, which is why he did so during the stream.

While ZilianOP has found a new home on YouTube under the name ItsBlooish, his Twitch channel remains permanently banned.

Ryan Higa - Possibly banned because of his username

The world is a huge place, filled with different cultures and languages. Phonetic overlaps are not uncommon, but the gulfs between languages and even cultural norms can occasionally cause problems. For instance, audiences in the United States recognize the word "slag" as a waste material created during metal smelting, but UK readers associate the term with immoral women. Another case of words being lost in translation might have resulted in a confusing Twitch ban.

On March 25, 2021, Higa suddenly found himself locked out of Twitch, and while he was streaming a game of "Among Us," no less.The reason? According to an email, he was banned for "hateful conduct." 

It seems that most gamers, including the streamers he played with, would claim Higa is the opposite of "hateful," so the ban came as a huge surprise. Lucky for him, he was unbanned in (possibly) Guinness World Record time, but the mystery behind the ban remained. Twitch hasn't stated the initial rationale, and fans have stirred up speculation in the ensuing silence.

According to Distractify, the general consensus is that his username, "NigaHiga," might have caught the ire of Twitch's moderators. The reasoning here is that the "Niga" prefix is one letter away from a misspelled version of a racial slur. So why would Higa use such a dubious term in his username? According to a Variety interview, the word "niga" is Japanese for "rant."

For streamers like Higa, it's all fun and wordplay until someone loses a Twitch account.