Hasan "The Provocateur Gamer" Piker, a Twitch streamer who is known for his political streams and appearances on progressive YouTube channel The Young Turks, has seen his Twitch channel suspended for one week. Piker's suspension comes after controversial comments he made about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks where al-Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people.
Piker's comments were made while he was streaming and reacting to an episode of the Joe Rogan podcast where Rogan was interviewing Republican congressman Dan Crenshaw. In the interview, Crenshaw argued against Rogan's claim that people in other countries dislike the United States due to its foreign policy and how the US has killed civilians with things like drone strikes. Crenshaw added that civilians in countries like Iraq actually want the US to have a bigger military presence in the region.
In response to Crenshaw's comments, Piker said, "This is so insane." He then said, "America deserved 9/11, dude." Piker also commented on Crenshaw's appearance, specifically the fact that he only has one eye (Crenshaw lost his eye from an IED while serving in the military). It's unclear if the Twitch suspension was due to the controversial 9/11 statement or if it was due to his comment on Crenshaw's appearance.
if you have a problem supporting terrorists and those who fund terrorists, why did you vote against stopping our arms sales to saudi arabia 4 times? those weapons are now literally in the hands of al qaeda. precisely the point i made in that video that cuts off right before https://t.co/DG2tdrqH05— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) August 22, 2019
Regardless, Piker's statement that "America deserved 9/11" didn't sit well with many in the streamer's Twitch chat. It also ignited controversy on Twitter and elsewhere, with many criticizing the streamer. This included a Fox News appearance by Crenshaw, where clips from the stream were shown. Piker has since admitted that he "should have used more precise and better" language to convey his points, but has reiterated that he believes United States foreign policy caused 9/11 and that it is problematic that the US is still selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. Piker also pointed out that the United States helped arm and train the terrorist organizations that would eventually become al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Twitch has become increasingly political in recent years. While the platform is still mostly used for streaming games, it has also been used by others to share their political beliefs. This has even included presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has started a Twitch channel in an effort to reach a wider audience. However, it remains to be seen just how Twitch will handle controversial political statements made on its platform.