Bans were dished out left and right on Twitch following February 25’s Democratic Primary Debate. Apparently, DMCA “copystrikes” were issued on a number of content creators who used live footage of the debate in their Twitch streams. Among those banned from the platform as a result included BadBunny, ChapoTrapHouse, TriHex, Central_Committee, TheSerfsTV, JustinRYoung, David Pakman, MajorityReport, and ChumLord.
However, it wasn’t long before counter-action was taken. Right off the bat, the DMCA copystrike was suspicious because the Twitch streamers were well-within their rights to broadcast the debate — as long as the content provided was transformative to the original material. The group of banned streamers were rightfully confused considering that none of them intentionally breached copyright law. As suspected, the DMCA claims were eventually found to be false, deriving from a 3rd party that filed the strikes on behalf of CBS.
Unfortunately for Twitch, the immediate ban on dozens of established streamers (without first checking the credibility of the copystrike) is a bad look for the platform. Mysterious and unjust bans have haunted the streaming service for some time. Not only that, they’ve also struggled with past falsified DMCA strikes; This incident only adds to their list of mishaps.
On the other hand, it is good that Twitch acted swiftly to reverse their original mistake.
Although the initial ban wave shocked and angered many viewers, some were a bit disappointed that Twitch didn’t stick to their guns with certain streamers. Regarding BadBunny, Redditors had no issues withholding their honesty.
In January, BadBunny drew widespread criticism by notoriously ranting about freeloaders on Twitch, lambasting her viewers for watching her “for hours” without subscribing. The episode led to a debacle that called into question the entitlement of streamers, even leading to reactions from other Twitch colleagues. Love her or hate her, BadBunny is among the many who were quickly reinstated after the great banning of 2020.
Twitch is likely employing an algorithm that automatically bans streamers upon certain conditions being met, but the risks of this approach are apparent. YouTube has struggled in the past with false copystrike abuse, so hopefully malicious parties don’t find a way to abuse Twitch’s system just as easily.
Sources: Twitter, Reddit
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