Twitch begins banning streamers on sexual abuse allegations

In response to a torrent of sexual assault and assault allegations involving talent and management companies, Twitch has begun implementing permanent bans, the company announced Wednesday night.

“We have prioritized the most serious cases and will begin issuing permanent suspensions based on our findings immediately,” Twitch said in a blog post, stating that it is still in the process of investigating some allegations. “In many of the cases, the alleged incident took place outside of Twitch, and we need more information to make a determination.”

The live-streaming company also promised to develop better tools to deal with bullying, rework its associated policies, and create better detection tools for offensive username and chat use.

While the company did not directly mention any broadcasters in the announcement, a Twitter account dedicated to cataloging the service’s bans saw a spike in posts matching the recent allegations. So far, iAmSp00n, BlessRNG, WarwitchTV, DreadedCone and Wolv21 users have been withdrawn from service. The biggest livestreamers accused of misconduct, Tom “Syndicate” Cassell and Destiny 2 Lono streamer “SayNoToRage” has yet to face the repercussions of Twitch. Cassell denied a recent sexual assault allegation, while Lono posted an apology video for her actions.

These allegations are part of a larger wave within the gaming industry, where dozens of women have been sharing stories of misconduct by prominent figures in space, including developers. Twitch’s actions also come after a site-wide “blackout” where users pledged to stop streaming for a day to raise awareness of the recent allegations.

Twitch encourages users who have more information related to these allegations to use the service’s internal reporting tools, which are confidential. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear also recently shared an internal email sent to staff, saying that the company may take additional steps, such as eliminating promotion opportunities and the status of society, depending on the situation.

“This calculation and the actions of the entire industry are behind schedule, and this is another issue that we, and the industry, must address and create lasting and positive change,” Shear wrote.