No matter their profile, public figures in the video games industry always run the risk of fans gone wrong. Whether it’s devs on a highly anticipated game getting death threats, or content creators drawing hate from their detractors, or even a Twitch streamer getting swatted live. It’s a lesson that streamer Ice Poseidon learned all too well and will likely never forget.
Although Ice Poseidon covers the situation well enough in a lengthy YouTube video (seen below), the basic highlights involve an IRL stream at an airport. Typically, streamers on Twitch’s IRL (in real life) channel try to keep their whereabouts as secret as possible to avoid swatting, a “prank” wherein a fake threat is called to the police and the streamer is labeled as the suspect.
In this case, Ice Poseidon was at the airport and rather than keep his info secret he let every viewer know where he was and which plane he was boarding. As some might suspect, a viewer swatted Ice Poseidon as he and a friend were boarding the plane and the two were subsequently removed.
As more and more details about the event surfaced, Twitch eventually decided to ban Ice Poseidon from the streaming service, believing that he had violated the company’s terms of service. Essentially, Twitch thinks that the streamer should have taken better care to protect his location to avoid such a situation.
While swatting is nothing new for content creators and streamers this is one of the first instances where the actual act has gotten the individual banned from the service they were using. In most cases, the victim of the prank winds up answering questions from the police and are let go, with little damage done. But here someone’s livelihood has been affected.
To make matters worse, Twitch banning Ice Poseidon sets a bad precedent for IRL streams moving forward. First and foremost, it discourages any popular streamer from ever hosting IRL streams, out of fear they may be swatted and banned as a result. Second, it gives viewers that may dislike a streamer the tools to shut down that person’s channel, without any appeal process.
In essence, this prankster got exactly what they wanted and Twitch has only given more power to these types of individuals. Should Ice Poseidon have been more careful with his location? Definitely, but as he admits if someone wanted to find his location then they were likely going to anyway. The only thing that can be done is to make sure the person that made the call faces a punishment, not the victim.