It has been a strange week for the video game community. And I mean weirder than a normal week, which is usually pretty weird already.
Things started with some surprising accusations about Destiny 2 streamer SayNoToRage that quickly spilled over into a budding #MeToo move that, in just a few days, has seen numerous streamers and video game developers fall out of favor, including the director of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and other Ubisoft executives.
Then out of nowhere, the mega-Twitch Guy “Dr. Disrespectful” Beahm coil was banned, apparently permanently, for reasons that have yet to be clarified.
Twitch released a statement so generic that it’s honestly not worth printing, but I’ll do it anyway because we must do our reporting duty, even if the giant corporations can’t be bothered by even the slightest bit of transparency.
Here it is:
“As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a transmitter has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. These apply to all transmitters, regardless of status or importance in the community.” .
Great, how noble. Although, to tell the truth, Twitch doesn’t have a particularly excellent reputation in this regard.
Most of what we know so far comes from a few with inside sources like e-sports journalist Rod Breslau, who is IMHO one of the best video game journalists on the planet and someone whose work absolutely must follow. He tweeted that the reason for the ban is unrelated to the DMCA and that his sources have told him the reason, but he does not feel comfortable sharing it publicly due to the sensitivity of the issue:
Beyond this, mom is the word.
But now Dr. Disrespect himself has spoken, sending a public tweet about the Twitch ban:
“Twitch has not notified me of the specific reason behind its decision … Firm greetings to all for the support during this difficult time,” writes Beahm.
I have some problems with this. First of all, it doesn’t make sense. There are two big reasons why it doesn’t make sense, and probably several other smaller reasons.
Reason # 1 – Why wait so long to tweet this short statement? If Twitch banned me, and I was a featured transmitter, they didn’t tell me why. . . He would be on Twitter in an instant saying it. I wouldn’t let all this mystery and gossip go crazy online without at least saying “Hey, I have no idea what’s going on right now and Twitch won’t tell me.” Beahm waited a day before tweeting something. Maybe there are extenuating circumstances for this, maybe he was camping in a remote desert, but as of now, it doesn’t make sense.
Reason # 2 – This statement only reveals one data point: that Twitch has not told Beahm why it was banned. He omits some other important factors, such as whether or not Dr. Disrespect is aware of the reason. It stands to reason that whatever happens, he knows it. It seems incredibly unlikely, given reason # 1, that you are completely unaware and completely in the dark about the reasons for the ban. whether or not Twitch told him directly. If sources tell journalists like Breslau what is happening, surely the doctor himself knows it.
Unless . . . Something even worse has happened and Twitch and the handful of people who know what’s going on can’t say anything to Beahm. That conjures up some very bad scenarios that I won’t delve into here: it’s not polite to speculate on something of this nature, after all. But it certainly is strange, and Dr. Disrespect’s statement only increases the confusion and fear that we all feel about this.
I would like more transparency from everyone involved, frankly. All this opacity and nonsense of silence generates speculation and rumors, and nobody deserves it. The truth will come to light, as they say. He always does. You could also tear off the band-aid and get it over with. The fact that Twitch hasn’t even told Beahm the motives (assuming it’s true) is absolutely absurd. It’s certainly not a way to treat one of your biggest stars, even a star I’m personally not a fan of. It’s very, um, disrespectful.
Hopefully we get to the bottom of this soon.
It was interesting to see the reaction to this publication online. Some people seem to agree that everything is rather suspicious. Others have accused me of … well, I’m not quite sure what.
Writing a terrible, lousy and not good article that is somehow attacking Dr. Disrespectful or alternatively that I am a fan of Doc (the “fear-filled” line was apparently taken by some to be very literal as opposed to tongue on cheek. Everything is lost in translation.)
Others have accused me of masking an opinion piece as a direct report, but my blog is almost entirely opinion pieces. I rarely report direct news. I am a critic and a type of thinker. I do not think I have fallen into idle speculation, and I have certainly not made any accusations or put forward any theory. I have simply said that things do not add up and this whole business is somewhat disturbing. It’s hard not to have your mind drifting very bad things when we just don’t know, well, anything and everyone does I know that something will not make public comments about it because it is very “sensitive”.
We have yet to hear anything substantial from Dr. Disrespect or Twitch, with no further statements coming out of either camp. This may be because Twitch simply does not share information by issuing a permanent ban according to Breslau:
“Food for thought,” Breslau tweeted Sunday. “Twitch does not issue specific reasons to streamers for permanent bans. MethodJosh was banned after a sexual assault report, and Twitch has never made public or private comments. Josh and Ice Poseidon were told ‘Other TOS violations.’ ”
Meanwhile, there’s a huge conspiracy going around this new Brime streaming service that streamers Ninja, Shroud, and Dr. Disrespect were apparently going to move in together. The theory goes that Twitch somehow found out that Doc was trying to hunt streamers to pass Brime and that’s why they have banned him.
I don’t think this theory has much influence for a lot of reasons, and you should read Paul Tassi’s breakdown of why it really doesn’t make sense (and has no verifiable sources) here.
What do you think of all this? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.