It seems every day Twitch is adding more rules and restrictions on what streamers can and can't say or do, but now it seems the streaming service may have gone too far. Popular Rainbow Six Siege and Fortnite streamer Viperous was banned for seven days for using a "hateful slur." According to a tweet from Viperous, the "slur" in question was "nerd," a word that she says she uses all the time on her channel.
Viperous was banned from Twitch the very next day. She soon tweeted about her ban due to her allegedly using a "hateful slur." What's even worse is that her subscribers who were watching the stream in question have had their donations refunded. Viperous has since been using Twitter to defend herself and to call out Twitch for their overreaction, saying "I call people who kill me nerd all the time and whatever it sounds like I said, it was literally just nerd."
On November 8th, while Viperous was playing a shooter, she said "what is this nerd doing?" after being killed by someone in the corner. One of her Twitter followers captured the moment, mistakenly believing that she had said a racial slur. After playing the clip back in slow motion, however, it was clear all she had said was "nerd." The damage had already been done, though, and Twitch apparently didn't want to take any chances on something that might sound like a racial slur.
I just got banned on Twitch for a clip of me that went around for literally saying “nerd”. I call people who kill me nerd all the time and whatever it sounds like i said, it was literally just nerd. Why am i getting banned for something I DIDNT EVEN DO?? @twitch pic.twitter.com/vrxEfg12k2— sidney (@Viperous) November 9, 2019
This isn't the first time Twitch has banned streamers for questionable reasons. Just last month popular streamer and former Overwatch pro Dellor received a permanent ban due to "self-harm" from a repeated gag where he would break a keyboard over his head. Back in September, art streamer Qucqo was banned for cosplaying as Chun-Li, which Twitch chose to view as "sharing or engaging in sexually suggestive content or activities."
Though it's easy to criticize Twitch for these recent bans, it's not entirely unwarranted for the company to be so overly cautious. There have been plenty of streamers who have done or said some controversial things on Twitch and other livestreaming services in the past, like Alinity's recent wardrobe malfunction. Another big one was PewDiePie's "PUBG bridge" incident, in which the famous YouTuber very casually (and publicly) blurted out a racial slur. Clearly, Twitch is trying to avoid any such controversies from happening in the future, although that seems to have made the company somewhat "ban-happy."
Either way, Twitch may need to rethink its streaming policies given that many big-name streamers have already left the platform and banning streamers for little to no reason isn't exactly winning anyone over.