What you’ve probably heard: three months after he signed an exclusive two-year contract with Twitch for a “life-changing” amount of money, Twitch has nonetheless “permanently banned” Guy Beahm, aka Dr Disrespect, for something he did in violation of the company’s rules.
What you might be thinking: it’s too much of a coincidence for his channel’s abrupt disappearance to happen a single day after Twitch announced it would start permanently banning streamers for sexual harassment and assault.
The truth: we do not currently know whether Twitch has even banned Beahm, much less the facts around why Disrespect disappeared on Friday, because the company has repeatedly refused to confirm even a ban to The Verge — and declined to deny a new statement from Beahm this evening that claims Twitch won’t even tell him what’s going on.
It’s the first word from Beahm since his channel abruptly disappeared from Twitch on Friday afternoon, and it’s clearly designed to suggest that Twitch is in the wrong. Perhaps he knows full well what’s going on and is hiding behind the words “specific reason,” but we have no current evidence of anything right now — again, neither Twitch nor Disrespect have even confirmed that he’s being suspended, much less banned, much less permanently. To be blunt, we’ve seen nothing that rules out the possibility that Disrespect pulled himself off Twitch for some reason, however unlikely that may seem.
The idea that he’s been permanently banned originally came secondhand, from sources who spoke anonymously through others on Twitter — and both of the people tweeting have since explained that they were unwilling or unable to share the reason why. Kotaku has since corroborated a ban with three additional sources, but for some currently inexplicable reason Twitch won’t go that far. Occasionally, in the past, we’ve seen companies do that because they prefer the world’s current understanding of a situation, even when that understanding is wrong.
The only thing Twitch has provided is this statement, which it declined to connect to Beahm, even when we explained that it leaves open the possibility that Beahm has not been banned.
“As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”
It’s quite possible that all will be revealed in due time, and all the publications currently reporting that Dr Disrespect has been permanently banned will look justified after the fact. Perhaps there’s also a very good reason why some facts need to be withheld.
The only facts available right now are that Dr Disrespect has disappeared from Twitch; Twitch and Beahm won’t say why; and a lot of people are wondering when we’ll all know.