Twitch streamer Sweet Anita has responded after some have called for her to be banned following offensive outbursts caused by her Tourette's.
Sweet Anita is a Twitch streamer who suffers from Tourette’s syndrome, a condition that causes one to make involuntary sounds and/or movements called tics. In some cases, these tics can come in the form of controversial, rude or taboo comments, but is something those affected have no control over.
In her time on Twitch, Anita has built an audience of over half a million followers, as well as 300,000 subscribers on YouTube. This is all in spite, or perhaps partly thanks to, her Tourette’s, unashamedly embracing her tics, rather than trying to suppress them.
Naturally, her condition can sometimes cause issues when she accidentally uses expletivs or says something offensive, as was the case after an outburst on stream on December 9.
While explaining how great it must be "to choose to be socially appropriate and considerate and not just say the weirdest, most awful sh*t ever,” Anita had a tic causing her to say “kill the Jews,” before looking absolutely devastated.
She turned her stream off shortly after, but the clip was widely shared on social media, sparking controversy. Twitch partner Lil Chipmunk came out in a now-deleted tweet asking “How’s this allowed? I don’t care if she has Tourettes she must have some way to mute herself?”
The tweet was deleted, but Lil Chipmunk also responded to the original tweet containing the clip saying “Sounds like she just wanted to get that out.”
Anita hasn’t responded directly to Chipmunk’s post, but did address some of the backlash to these types of incidents, where her tics can result in highly offensive remarks, such as when she used a racial slur.
“I read the comments section. There were a lot of people who were really angry or thought I should be banned," Anita explained, "a lot of people think the N-word is in your vocabulary so you must be racist.”
She continued: “The N-word is on everyone’s vocabulary. We all know what it is and that it’s a word, and so does my Tourette’s. That doesn’t mean it’s something I believe or feel about anyone.”
Anita went on to explain that it’s hard when people just don’t understand Tourette’s, but rather than fixate on the negatives she would rather look at the positives, such as the commenters who explain to others what Tourette’s is and why she can’t help it.
Fellow streamer Anikichad, who also has Tourette’s, addressed Anita’s “N-word tic”, saying “In my interactions with Anita, she has been nothing but nice, kind, supportive… She’s a true friend, and I don’t want anyone thinking she’s actually racist."
Twitch's community guidelines have strict rules around what it calls 'hateful conduct', but Sweet Anita has not faced any official sanctions from the platform.
In enforcing the rules, Twitch moderation teams claim to always take context into account, and, given her condition, Sweet Anita's remarks have been ruled not to violate these guidelines.