Popular Twitch streamer and wildlife conservationist Maya Higa revealed to viewers that she literally cannot use her surname in Twitch stream titles, as it is deemed to be “potentially inappropriate”.
Twitch has come under fire for its censorship of words many times before.
While certain words are appropriately moderated, the likes of Nick ‘Nmplol’ Polom have slammed Twitch in the past for censoring words like “obese”, which he argued should be allowed as a genuine medical term.
Questions were also raised at the height of the hot tub meta, as Twitch appeared to censor the term “hot tub” from the official channel’s own chat, prompting backlash from viewers.
And it’s not just censorship of words in chat, too. Minecraft sensation GeorgeNotFound had his channel – ThisIsGeorgeNotFound – banned, apparently for containing words that “intimidates, degrades, abuses or bullies others”.
But on her July 24 Twitch stream, Maya revealed perhaps the most bizarre example of censorship yet, as she said that her boyfriend Mizkif wasn’t able to use her actual surname in a stream title – as it was too similar to a racial slur.
Mizkif had to name her as “Maya Robert” in his title instead, prompting widespread confusion among viewers as chat was spammed with question marks.
She explained: “He tried to write Maya Higa, and they wouldn’t let him write it because they said it was potentially inappropriate. It reads too much like the N-word. They won’t let you put it in a title.”
However. Maya’s surname is only banned from being in titles, meaning viewers are still able to type Higa into chat, further blurring the boundaries on censorship of supposed slurs.
Twitch has not publicly responded to the situation, but either way, it remains one of the strangest pieces of censorship on the platform.