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“Twitch is not the internet police”


At gamescom 2022 there was a scuffle between German twitch streamers such as Tanzban, Scurrows and orangemorange. The demand was then raised on Twitter: Twitch should ban streamers from the streaming platform for their aggressive behavior at gamescom. But one of those involved, casino streamer Scurrows, is certain: it’s not legal. If Twitch really bans him, he will complain back to the platform.

What happened at gamescom?

  • Some German Twitch streamers were involved in a violent conflict from gamescom 2022. First there was wild insults, then there was a scuffle. The conflict flared up between a group around the casino streamers orangemorange and Scurrows on the one hand and the twitch streamer ban on dancing on the other.
  • No one was injured in the action, although cups and arms were thrown. According to the organizer, gamescom, all parties have assured that they will not press charges. Gamescom said: respect that.
  • On Friday, August 26, multiple videos of the incident circulated on Twitter, sparking public outrage. Many people wrote: gamescom should be for games, not for such behavior. There were also calls for Twitch to ban the streamers involved.

After a fight: Ban on dancing and scurrows were allowed back at gamescom, immediately causing further scandals

Twitch passage regulates “Behaviour outside of Twitch”

That was the demand for the scandal: A well-publicized tweet following the incident came from Twitch streamer Dracon. He referred to a passage in the Twitch Rules regarding “behaviour outside of Twitch”. These are relatively new rules: they were updated in April 2021.

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The rules state that crimes committed by Twitch users also pose a security risk to the Twitch community, even if they are committed entirely outside of Twitch.

One passage Dracon points out refers to “acts that imminently and clearly threaten the physical integrity of the Twitch community.”

Member of PietSmiet demands Tiwtch ban – Gets a lot of support

In a tweet on August 26, the Twitter user “Don Jay” from the gaming group Pietsmiet demands that Twitch should now ban the streamers involved, such as orangemorange or ban on dancing (via twitter).

The tweet got 15,880 likes.

Twitch streamer Scurrows.

“Twitch is not the internet police”

This is what one of the participants says: Twitch streamer Theo “Scurrows” Bottländer has commented extensively on Twitter about the demand to have him banned.

Scurrows says:

To be clear: Twitch is not the internet police. For example, they cannot ban you on Twitch for your behavior on YouTube. And certainly not because of incidents that took place offline.

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Regarding the passage in the rules, he says: These rules would not stand up to scrutiny by a court. Twitch could also write in the rules that someone was sentenced to death. However, that is not effective.

Scurrows seems confident there will be no consequences. If he is banned, he has already threatened to sue. When it was pointed out that such a negotiation could drag on for years, as with the streamer Phantomlord, he referred to the possibility of immediately suing for an injunction back on the air.

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Streamer Scurrows considers Twitch’s rules invalid.

Scurrows sees himself as a victim anyway, as he explains in a recent video on YouTube. He believes that public sentiment is only so negative towards him because he has been criticized as a “casino streamer”. The aggressor is Tanzbane, who behaved “like a wild boar” (via youtube).

However, Scurrows’ tweets are no longer visible at the moment, his Twitter account is marked as “no longer exists”.

scurrows basic law
Scurrows is certain: the German Basic Law protects him.

Streamer sued back in 2021 after a 3-year ban on Twitch

Why is Scurrows so sure about that? Scurrows knows first-hand what it’s like to sue back on Twitch. Because he was banned from Twitch for 3 years from 2018.

He went to court against the ban.

As the Streamrant site reports, after a defeat in the district court, Scurrows apparently succeeded with a lawsuit in the higher regional court to have the ban lifted and to stream again on Twitch (via streamrant).

twitch dance ban
German twitch streamer Tanzban says he was provoked before the incident.

Are there consequences for the Twitch streamers involved? Probably not. There seem to be high hurdles before Twitch steps in and penalizes behavior that didn’t happen directly on Twtich.

While Twitch is known to be sensitive to public pressure, historically this has involved clips of incidents that took place on Twitch, such as MontanaBlack’s famous “Uiiii” video.

Apparently nobody has to expect an exclusion from the next gamescom either. The streamers were allowed back to the event after the incident. In a statement, gamescom says they have been made aware that gamescom is not a place for violence.

However, Scurrows could face other problems:

  • The streamer makes money on Twitch with casino streams.
  • These streams are heavily criticized around the world.
  • According to Twitch, they are currently investigating whether they even want this content on Twitch.

gamescom was really about games:

MeinMMO at gamescom 2022 – These are our highlights

Twitch only bans outside the platform in rare, very blatant cases

Has Twitch penalized anyone for off-twitch behavior before? There have been a few reported instances of streamers being banned for off-Twitch behavior. There are often very crass examples.

Streamer Leafy was banned from Twitch in September 2020 after he got involved in a dispute with YouTuber Ethan “h3h3” Klein. He had shown a video on Twitter in which Leafy had gone to a protest with a hidden gun. This could have resulted in a ban on Twitch.

There is an incident from June 2019: The Twitch streamer “Methodjosh”, the leading WoW guild Method, was permanently banned from Twitch. No one really knew why at the time (via dotesports). Because on Twitch itself, no behavior was observed that would have justified such a severe punishment.

It later emerged that the streamer was accused of raping a woman. An investigation by the police yielded no results, but the streamer was permanently banned from Twitch. Media reports probably also played a part in the spell, but they had appeared 4 months earlier and were not that serious (via kotaku).

Later, other women made allegations against the streamer and there was a scandal in June 2020, which led to a temporary dissolution of the Method guild.

Survey on a possible penalty

how do you see it? We created a poll on whether Twitch should penalize the streamers involved. You only have one vote for one answer and you can choose from 6 options:

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A similar case for a ban for behavior outside of Twitch could be the permanent ban of DrDisrespect: To this day, the public does not know why DrDisrespect was permanently banned from Twitch after he signed a lucrative exclusive contract a few months earlier.

The ban cannot be explained by “behaviour in the stream”.

Some suspect Twitch may have banned DrDisrespect because of a changing market situation or because he lied in negotiations with Twitch about an exclusive deal:

This is the best theory why Dr Disrespect got banned from Twitch





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