There’s strange doings a-transpirin’ in the gaming world, with streaming megalith Twitch abruptly booting one of its most popular personalities off the platform, with no apparent reason being made public.
Dr Disrespect, real name Guy Beahm, was removed from the platform last Friday, in what’s reportedly a permanent ban from Twitch altogether.
Beahm abruptly ended a stream on Friday, and his channel as a whole was removed from the platform hours later. Paid subscriptions to his channel have since been refunded by Twitch, in a telling sign that the ban is indeed permanent, and his status as a platform Partner has been removed in the code of the website itself.
His partner status got removed as well (Screenshot of the GQL API response) pic.twitter.com/rNaxwtZhMX— CommanderRoot (@CommanderRoot) June 27, 2020
Weirder still, Twitch officials have not publicised their reasoning for the permaban, and even Beahm himself was at sea as to their reasoning, according to a Twitter post.
Champions Club,— Dr Disrespect (@drdisrespect) June 28, 2020
Twitch has not notified me on the specific reason behind their decision… Firm handshakes to all for the support during this difficult time.
While the ban does not appear to have been triggered by Twitch’s reportedly “aggressive” DMCA detection system, which has been going after users for utilising copyright-protected music in streams, Twitch did, earlier in the week, issue a sweeping statement announcing a crackdown on any user accused of sexual misconduct and assault in the wake of a massive online purge of accusations against a raft of high-profile gaming figures across the past few weeks.
Twitch co-founder and CEO Emmett Shear released a statement last Monday asserting “As many of you are aware, over the weekend people from across the gaming industry came forward to share their accounts of sexual misconduct, harassment, and assault. Some of these accounts named Twitch-affiliated individuals, including Partners, Affiliates, business partners, and others. I want to assure you all that we are looking into all the incidents and will be taking action and cooperating with law enforcement.”
“Actions may include banning, removing partnership, or removing people from promotional opportunities and activations if we have concerns based on credible accusations and their historical behaviour on Twitch,” Shear stated.
Twitch issued a short and vague statement addressing the Disrespect ban on social media over the weekend, which did little to clarify the situation.
Twitch's statement on @drdisrespect ban: "As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”— Shannon Liao (@Shannon_Liao) June 26, 2020
No specific allegations against Beahm were made public as part of the most recent wave of accusations, however he has long been the subject of criticism for airing content that other streamers would have been severely punished for.
Beahm’s final stream involved an extremely curious shift in tone after he seemingly glanced at his phone. He then, after a pause, began an unhinged rant covering the wild theories of noted conspiracy theorist David Icke, before asserting “We’ll… we’ll get through this champions. Life’s weird right now… we’ll get through this, okay? And uh… fuck.” The stream then abruptly cut off.
In March this year, Beahm signed a multi-year exclusivity deal with Twitch that would keep him bound to the platform and paid reportedly in the vicinity of $10 million per year. That deal, for the moment, appears to have been now torn in up in spectacularly public fashion.