Popular Twitch streamers Mychal ‘Trihex’ Jefferson, Nicole ‘BadBunny,’ and more have been banned from the Amazon-owned platform after being hit with DMCA takedowns for sharing CBS’ coverage of the ongoing Democratic Debate.
As well as Trihex and BadBunny, both of whom have been barred from the broadcasting website for various things in the past, other politically-geared Twitch creators like David Pakman, TheMajorityReport, and Justin Robert Young were all banned.
In total, seven Twitch partners were caught up in the ban wave. So far, it’s unclear as to when their channels will be allowed to come back online.
Why were the Twitch partners hit with a banwave?
The seven partners banned were taken offline on Tuesday, February 25 while watching and streaming CBS' coverage of the Democratic Debate.
Most streamers involved in the banwave simply had audio or video of the televised debate playing on their stream screen.
Trihex bucked this trend, using subtitles over a muted version of the broadcast to allow his viewers to follow along.
All seven were hit with DMCA notices reportedly sent from Praxis Political Legal, according to David Pakman, who shared the message on Twitter.
— David Pakman (@dpakman) February 26, 2020
Was CBS actually behind the DMCA takedowns?
Praxis claimed in their takedown messages the streamers were infringing on CBS News’ copyrighted work by replaying the debate with commentary on Twitch.
Praxis’ official site states the company “works with, and on behalf of, clients in the media, consulting, policy, politics, and campaigns.”
There has, as yet, been no confirmation Praxis were officially employed by CBS, and The Serfs TV — another channel caught by the banwave — suggested CBS weren’t even involved in Praxis’ move to take down the political streamers.
“Holy smokes, it wasn’t even CBS! We got false-flagged by someone who just nuked all the lefty streams on Twitch,” the streaming group said on Twitter soon after the ban. “Twitch, we need protection as content creators from this!”
BadBunny agreed with Serfs, suggesting the strikes were "fake," and demanded Twitch provide more protection for partners in these kinds of situations.
"I and many other partnered Twitch streamers were just banned with DMCA strikes for broadcasting transformative content of the presidential debates. These were fake strikes, issued by a domain created two weeks ago. Twitch offers NO protection for streamers here. This is absurd," she said.
I and many other partnered @Twitch streamers were just banned with DMCA strikes for broadcasting transformative content of the presidential debates.
These were *fake* strikes issued by a domain created 2 weeks ago.
Twitch offers NO protection for streamers here. This is absurd. pic.twitter.com/BiUZSp9Uyt
— BadBunny (Nicole)🌹 (@BadBunnyTwitch) February 26, 2020
Trihex joins the chorus of anger after banwave
While some of the seven high-profile streamers hit by the DMCA takedowns simply continued to live-tweet the debate, others were less pleased with CBS and their ‘hit squad,’ especially Trihex, who has been hit by the banhammer before.
The Twitch gamer, who is best known for his speedrunning trials despite being blocked from attending flagship event AGDQ, said the takedown was “super unfair,” especially considering he had gone to lengths to mute the audio.
“I didn’t use audio, and only showed subtitles to sync watching your programming,” he said after copping the ban. “Democracy at its finest. Privatized events for public election, and then throw their weight around to bully. Unreal.”
Super unfair. I didn’t use audio, and only show subtitles to sync WATCHING YOUR PROGRAMMING.
Democracy at its finest. Privatized events for public election and then throw their weight around to bully.
— trihex (@trihex) February 26, 2020
When will the DMCA'd streamers return to Twitch?
There has been no indication as to whether Twitch intends to investigate the veracity of the DMCA takedowns, but whether the Amazon-owned platform gets involved, there’s a decent chance the suspended partners will have to serve out their ban.
Takedowns of this nature usually result in bans of varying length. Some can be as short as 24 hours, while others could carry sentences of up to 14 days.
In Trihex and BadBunny’s cases, there’s a good chance their bans may be quite lengthy. They have both had suspensions for similar situations in the past, meaning they’ll likely be punished more harshly this time around.
As of now, there were a few political streamers who did avoid the DMCA strikes for sharing the debate, and the ban that followed — Twitch partners Steven 'Destiny' Bonnell and Hasan ‘Hasan’ Piker have both been stung in the past.
This time around, the high-profile streamers may have avoided becoming embroiled in the suspensions and DMCA strikes due to streaming in the Just Chatting category instead of branding their broadcasts as political, however.
Dexerto will make sure to keep you updated on both the length of the bans for the currently suspended DMCA Seven, as well as if Hasan or Destiny fall under the watchful gaze of CBS and Praxis, when more information becomes available.
Additional reporting by Dexerto’s Andrew Amos.