Another Twitch partner faces the ban hammer.
The Twitch ban strikeforce team is working overtime to make sure that their users are free from harrassment. The popular streaming platform has been plagued with problems in recent years, and has been very public about taking steps to ban and remove streamers in violation of their code of conduct. This includes actions by Twitch streamers that happen offsite and offline, which lead to yesterday’s banning of Twitch Partner Ali “Gross Gore” Larsen (and taking away his partner status as well).
This ban is no big surprise to those who are familiar with Larsen, who has been suspended multiple times in the past. Last Friday, Larsen posted on the r/RoastMe subreddit, prompting many to respond with citations of multiple previous allegations against him, including sexual assault and harrassment of a minor. Larsen’s “Roast Me” post was deleted shortly after, but other Redditors were quick to summarize the incidents on another thread. The claims against Larsen reportedly reach back to 2015 – 2016, showing a lengthy history of alleged misconduct. That was all Twitch needed to hear, and yesterday Larsen was banned indefinitely for adult sexual exploitation.
The company justifies their decision with a specific rule in their TOS: “We take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, including in certain instances where the behavior may have taken place off Twitch. These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”
In the case of “Gross Gore,” many are saying that Twitch finally got it right. However, there are many times when the Twitch ban hammer does not quite hit the mark. Last week, a different streamer faced a double-ban for one of the strangest reasons: harrassing himself!
Popular Minecraft streamer George “GeorgeNotFound” Davidson has an alternate account. It’s called “ThisIsNotGeorgeNotFound.” This username has been causing a bit stir because it’s NOT GeorgeNotFound. Historically, internet trolls have been known to make usernames that act as an impostor, or to negate or attack the targeted person, which is essentially “harassment via username.” For whatever reason, Davidson’s alt account was flagged and banned for this violation. Twice.
Davidson appealed the ban, and it was lifted the next day. But in an ironic twist of fate, the streaming site turned around and served him ANOTHER ban only hours later. Initially they had cited “inappropriate username.” On the second ban, the violation was “harassment via username.” Only Twitch (speculating: or their algorithm…?) failed to connect the fact that Davidson was in control of the account, and was not seeking to harass himself with the username. He was able to contact his partner manager and sort things out, and has since been fully re-instated.
It’s evident that Twitch is trying to show that they are taking their own TOS seriously. It’s also evident that there are still a lot of kinks in the system that need to be ironed out. Twitch streamers (and everyone, really) should remember that there are serious consequences for those who make bad choices, even if the incident was years ago. The internet never forgets.