Twitch reportedly once had a list of streamers that would never be banned under any circumstances, but it’s apparently no longer in use.
Twitch has certainly had a time of it recently. Some streamers are being banned with no explanation. The platform is having teething troubles with its new ‘Boost’ feature. And who can forget the massive hack last week in which the payout information for the sites biggest streamers went public.
Also leaked in last week’s hack was a file called a ‘do_not_ban_list’. The file includes revealing information about the way in which Twitch enforces some of its rules for some while bending them for others.
The list isn’t in use anymore
The Washington Post spoke to several anonymous staff members at Twitch who were able to shed more light on the ‘do not ban list’. Apparently, the system is around five years out of date. The Twitch team has supposedly transitioned to a new method of managing its biggest streamers. Given how much Twitch has taken off in the last five years, that would make sense.
According to staff members, the list worked in tandem with another piece of software called ‘Better Desk’. These systems worked to elevate streamer reports to relevant teams. For example, if a non-partnered streamer received a report, Twitch admins would deliver appropriate punishments. However, partnered streamer reports would be elevated to a different team where considerations could be made.
Some language in the ‘do not ban list’ is phrased aggressively, like ‘do not ban for literally any reason’. However, this isn’t as insidious as it seems. That tagline was only listed next to incredibly high up Twitch staff, like CEO Emmett Shear. The Head of Community Productions also had a concerning tag next to his name with ‘underage’ listed as a note. However, this was because his child frequently appeared on stream with him. Under Twitch’s rules, it’s frowned upon to stream content of anyone over the age of 13.
Some rules don’t apply to everyone…
While some of the streamers on the ‘do not ban list’ make sense, the ‘one rule for one, one rule for another’ approach did allow some offensive streamers to get away scott-free. Twitch staff tell TWP that one example would be Bryan ‘RiceGum’ Le, who used to be a Twitch Partner back in the day.. He lost his partnership status after several controversies, but was never banned outright. That was apparently because he pulled in the views.
‘RiceGum got partnership removed way back in the day, but Twitch refused to ban him outright because he got viewership,’ an ex-Twitch staff member tells TWP. ‘“So even though he wasn’t a partner, he was treated like one and given partner outreach when he broke the rules instead of being suspended by the admin team.’
In 2021, Twitch now apparently uses a different system that’s much harder to exploit in secrecy. ‘That doesn’t necessarily mean some aren’t given extra slack still, but it does mean that if they are, it’s not hidden from other staff,’ another ex-Twitch employee told TWP.’Anyone with access to that system is going to be aware of additional leniency.’
The leak of the ‘do not ban list’ has provided evidence that Twitch, at least at one point, provides rule exceptions for some streamers versus the others. The company has declined to comment publicly on the leak of this specific document.
What do you think about Twitch’s ‘do not ban list’? Let us know across our social channels.
Shop with GameByte!
Don’t forget, you can find some of these great games and more through the new GameByte Shop! The GameByte Shop is stocked up with the latest games, merch and accessories. We might even have a new-gen console or two! Sign up for our newsletter to be notified of our console drops. Please note the GameByte Shop is available for UK customers only.
[Featured Image Credit: Twitch]