Creating content and streaming online has many perks, but those perks don’t come without drawbacks. Platforms like Twitch have myriad rules and guidelines streamers must follow. If a streamer violates a Twitch community guideline for any reason, they risk a platform ban. Bans range from temporary to permanent.
The phenomenon isn’t uncommon. In fact, several extremely popular creators have been banned from Twitch for various rule violations. There are important lessons to learn from these creators. Let’s look at some of the top Twitch streamers banned from the platform.
A well-known World of Warcraft Twitch streamer, ZilianOP gained popularity in 2012 and was known for being paralyzed from the waist down. When he streamed, he was always seen sitting in his wheelchair. To his followers, he claimed he was in a severe car crash the year before.
During a livestream, ZilianOP — whose real name is Angel Hamilton — got up from his wheelchair and walked out of the frame. He quickly realized he was still livestreaming, and ran to turn his webcam away. However, the damage was already done, and the news spread fast.
Twitch was quick to issue a ban, citing Hamilton’s deception of everyone on the platform. He disappeared from the internet after the incident, but in 2020, created a YouTube account under a different username.
Hamilton drew on the sympathy of his followers — and it worked. His “disability” netted the streamer over $20,000 in donations from supporters. Though, ultimately his lie ended his career as ZilianOP. So, while he got a lump of cash quickly, he no longer had his streaming career.
What’s the lesson?
Be honest. Lying about having a disability and using it as leverage for follower donations is a terrible thing. Be yourself, and don’t deceive your supporters. In the long run, not only will your conscious be clear, but you don’t run the risk of ruining your reputation
Dr Disrespect (Herschel Beahm IV) is one of the most popular and highly-publicized Twitch streamers ever banned. He faced a permanent ban from Twitch in June 2020. The incident generated a lot of buzz at the time because no one knew why — including Dr Disrespect.
Before the ban, Dr Disrespect received a suspension in 2019 for livestreaming in a public restroom. This violated Twitch’s privacy rules, as well as California’s privacy laws. The suspension lasted about a month. However, this wasn’t reason for his permanent ban.
Once banned, Dr Disrespect could not even appear in another creator’s stream. However, chess streamer Hikaru Nakamura hosted Dr Disrespect on his own Twitch stream after the ban. Twitch issued Nakamura a three-day suspension.
Dr Disrespect maintained for some time that he wasn’t sure why he was banned. But eventually, he stated that he knew the reason. This, however, remains unknown to the public. After he was ousted from the platform, he turned to YouTube and has streamed there ever since.
What’s the lesson?
Although the reason for Dr Disrespect’s ban from Twitch is still unknown, there are some lessons we can take away from the situation. First: proceed with caution when livestreaming. Anything can go wrong, and you may break a rule without knowing it. It’s a good idea to study the Community Guidelines thoroughly to avoid mishaps. Second — a Twitch ban isn’t always career-ending. Dr Disrespect continued streaming and successfully brought his Twitch following over to YouTube. While it did help that he had quite an established career as a streamer, it’s important to know that it is possible to switch platforms.
We’ve covered a couple of serious, permanent bans of popular Twitch streamers. But not all bans are permanent. Some streamers receive a temporary ban that may only last a day or two. This was the case with Pokimane earlier this year.
In January 2022, Pokimane was livestreaming with an audience of 25,000 while watching the show Avatar: The Last Airbender. Partway through the stream, she received a live DMCA ban, ending the stream. She was banned from the platform for 48 hours. Twitch is strict when it comes to featuring copyrighted materials on a livestream. This includes music, movies, TV shows and sporting events.
This was Pokimane’s first ban, and she hasn’t received one since.
What’s the lesson?
Streamers should be extra careful with copyright rules and not feature any music or other media they don’t have the rights or permission to. As fun as it is to record your reaction to a TV show or movie, it’s best to avoid the idea.
Some streamers have a controversial history. xQc (Félix Lengyel) has received multiple Twitch bans throughout his time on the platform. He also faced a permanent ban from League of Legends for inflammatory language.
xQc received his first ban in 2019 while drawing over inappropriate, pornographic videos during a stream. While the YouTube video was titled “Safe for Work Porn,” it still resulted in a three-day ban from Twitch. Eight months later, he received another three-day ban for briefly showing nudity on his stream while playing a suggestive game.
His largest ban was a result of him stream-sniping a competitor during a Twitch Rivals competition. In response, Twitch revoked his winnings from the competition and banned him for a week. xQc apologized for the incident.
xQc also received a ban when he streamed the Olympic games in 2021, which breaks Twitch’s copyright rules.
What’s the lesson?
With xQc, his overall offenses are fairly minor. Again, it all comes down to being familiar and comfortable with Twitch’s Community Guidelines. In these incidences, it seems xQc was unaware that he broke any rules. It’s safe to say that it’s probably not a great idea to feature any suggestive content or nudity in your stream.
Overall, it is best to read and understand Twitch’s Community Guidelines. To avoid any ban from the platform, follow the rules. Also, it’s essential to be respectful and honest. Twitch is all about community, so treating your followers with kindness and respect is important.