July 13, 2024

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Specialists in technology

Dr Disrespect: The mystery surrounding his Twitch ban

Dr DisrespectImage copyright
Getty Images

Loud, abrasive and brash – Dr Disrespect has been one of Twitch’s most popular streamers.

Armed with a unique combination of mullet, moustache and sunglasses he built up a following of more than four million subscribers on the site.

Earlier this year the character – played by a former games developer called Herschel ‘Guy’ Beahm – even signed a multi-year contract, reportedly worth millions of pounds, to stream exclusively on the site.

Then suddenly on 27 June his channel closed down.

Fans have been speculating on social media ever since. Has he broken the law? Behaved inappropriately? Or breached copyright?

Twitch has shared with Radio 1 Newsbeat the same statement they’ve put online: “We take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service”.

They have said nothing more on the case – but given how key he is to the platform, we expect the company’s most senior people are dealing with it.

Pressure has been mounting on the streaming site in recent days to step up its response to streamers accused of sexual abuse, harassment or using racist language – though there is no suggestion that such allegations have been made about Dr Disrespect at this time.

Some organised a protest last week that saw streamers stay away from the platform for a day to raise awareness of these issues.

Twitch has started to ban accounts, saying that it’s looking into cases “as quickly as possible” and adding that it will be issuing permanent suspensions to some users.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Dr Disrespect with his wife – known as Mrs Assassin – at the 2017 Game Awards

Dr Disrespect claims he hasn’t been told why his stream has been closed down either.

“Twitch has not notified me on the specific reason behind their decision.

“Firm handshakes to all for the support during this difficult time,” he said.

His wife also posted on Instagram to thank his community for their support.

Other accounts have been removed

Brad Jolly, who streamed as BlessRNG, had his channel removed from the site after being accused of sexual abuse.

He released a statement saying: “I without thinking straight did abusive things, and I hate that I did.

“Hold abusers accountable. That includes me.”

The website’s actions follow a big online discussion within the gaming industry.

Many people who work in games have been publicly sharing their experiences of sexual abuse.

Recently Twitch streamers have had to get rid of old clips that may have infringed copyright law because of the way music was used in them.

It is not clear at this time if copyright concerns could be behind the website’s actions with Dr Disrespect.

Their statement does say that rules and terms of service apply “to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community”.

Dr Disrespect is no stranger to controversy having been suspended from Twitch in 2019 after broadcasting live on the site from inside public toilets.

He’s also been criticised in the past for his characterisation of Chinese accents, some claiming it was racist, something he strongly denied.

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