UPDATE – February 7 (8:45pm PST)
After being banned from Twitch on February 6 for showing a controversial documentary on his stream, Hasan Piker has been unbanned.
I AM UNBANNED
— Hasan Piker (@hasanthehun) February 8, 2019
After showing a short segment of ‘Bowling for Columbine’, Twitch streamer Hasan Piker has been handed a temporary suspension from the platform, to his dismay.
Bowling for Columbine is a 2002 documentary by Michael Moore, which explores the events and circumstances leading to the 1999 school shooting at Columbine High, and the commonality of gun violence in the US.
A segment of the documentary, which pairs Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World‘ with scenes of death and destruction meted out by the US in foreign lands, is a popular clip on YouTube, as the perfect example of ‘soundtrack dissonance’.
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Hasan played this segment on stream, which includes images of dead bodies, such as US backed assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem in 1963, or the 1977 slaughter in El Salvador, by US endorsed military rulers.
It is heavy subject matter, but the documentary is intended to be educational, and so it could technically fit within Twitch’s community guidelines. However, one rule clearly states ‘Content that exclusively focuses on extreme or gratuitous gore and violence is prohibited.’
“There were a couple of photos of dead bodies in it, it was historical footage,” Hasan explains, continuing “the content is technically educational, so I would never in a million years assume that I would get banned for this, and yet I did.”
He also claims that there were Twitch staff on the viewers list and in chat at the time of showing the video, and an issue was not raised by these particular staff. Not all Twitch staff are responsible for the enforcement of community guidelines though.
Hasan was particularly surprised at the length of his ban, as seven days is not the minimum. Many streamers will receive warnings or only 24 hour suspensions on their first violation of community guidelines.