Trans Twitch streamer claims she was banned for showing examples of abuse

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Trans streamer Clara ‘Keffals’ Sorrenti claims she received a 28-day Twitch ban after attempting to showcase examples of the abuse thrown at marginalised creators.

Sorrenti had compiled a list of “homophobic and transphobic slurs” she has received over the years, and had intended to stream about and discuss the abuse. Shortly before the broadcast was scheduled, however, Sorrenti tweeted that she had fallen victim to a mass reporting campaign and been suspended from Twitch, ostensibly for including a thumbnail image of the list in question, which technically violated Twitch’s prohibitions on the use of slurs.

Sorrenti streamed on YouTube instead and contested the ban, but yesterday announced that Twitch had rejected her appeal. “I am banned for another 28 days for displaying a list of hateful slurs that were actually hurled at me by bigots,” she tweeted in the aftermath of the decision, “I have never been this disappointed”.

Sorrenti told PCG that she understood “why Twitch has policies in place that they need to enforce in order to prevent hate speech from becoming normalized”. But she added that “it runs counter to the goals of the platform to disempower marginalized people from speaking up against the abuse they receive for being prominent on that platform”.

Sorrenti said Twitch have not been in contact with her about the ban since rejecting her appeal. I’ve reached out to Twitch for comment and will update with any response. 

Sorrenti’s streams have gotten increasingly popular over the past year or so, especially since she switched from traditional game streaming to political commentary in Twitch’s ‘Just Chatting’ section. Her combative style has attracted adoration and ire in equal measure, earning her guests like Chelsea Manning and a profile in the Washington Post, but also making her a target for transphobic trolls.

Sorrenti has taken to streaming on YouTube during the term of her Twitch ban, and plans to upload the stream she was originally banned for as an edited video.

Twitch has been in the news a fair bit recently. They’ve reportedly been considering a less generous revenue split with creators, and their big stars are developing a habit of getting poached by YouTube. A seemingly self-inflicted furore over how the platform treats its marginalised stars couldn’t be more ill-timed.

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