The darkest corners of Twitch

The internet has never not been sketchy, and though Twitch has evolved considerably from its humble beginnings, the livestreaming platform is not excluded from all the weird and terrible things the internet as a whole has to offer. Infinite compilations of Twitch fails have revealed the rawness of streaming reality: rage quits, racism, sexism, and the occasional confession of animal abuse. Twitch is quick to crack down on bad behavior, and the platform's community guidelines have expanded significantly to cover unacceptable things from doxxing to swatting, drug use to self-harm.

But not everything has been combed through. Not everything violates Twitch's terms of service, and there are some who don't fear the threat of a ban. Thus there are some dark corners of Twitch left to create infamy. This goes far beyond toxic streamers and "accidental" slips of the tongue. Twitch has played host to some seriously messed up events.

That one time someone livestreamed a funeral

For some people, grief is a very private thing. The loss of a loved one hits hard, and it can be difficult to communicate that pain to others. Sometimes sharing the sadness is therapeutic: that's why funerals are social events. People gather there to share in memories and melancholy, supporting each other through a tragedy. It would be weird to invite a stranger to such an intimate gathering. Weirder still to livestream it for the whole of the internet.

And yet that's exactly what streamer JennaCloud did. For whatever reason, she felt it was entirely appropriate to break out her stream setup at her own grandmother's funeral. The stream, unabashedly titled "attending grandma's funeral," had Twitch chat questioning if what they were seeing — a casket ready to be lowered into a waiting grave, mourners surrounding an image of the departed — was real and then berating her when they realized it was. Comments pointed to how disrespectful streaming her family's private sorrows was and how wrong it was for her to exploit that tragedy just for views.

JennaCloud has yet to acknowledge the wrongness and outright weirdness of her actions, just saying her grandma "was the real legend" when confronted about it on Twitter.

Lives are in danger when streamers are swatted

Let's be real here: there's nothing funny about swatting. The "prank" puts lives in danger, wastes police resources that may be desperately needed elsewhere, and just isn't cool. Unfortunately, with the rise of Twitch, people twisted enough to fake hostage situations for the sake of revenge have found that they are able to watch their victim real time on livestream.

So of course there has been an increase in swatting pranks. In 2014, Jordan "Kootra" Mathewson was interrupted by a loud, angry, and on-edge SWAT team that had been told that he had killed several of his co-workers and planted bombs in the building. The scale of this threat forced local schools to evacuate. Though no one was hurt, the city stated, "Fortunately there were no injuries today, but a massive law enforcement response wastes resources and greatly increases the chances of innocent people being injured or killed."

In 2016, a 28-year-old man was shot and killed by police as a result of a swatting prank. This fact hasn't stopped deplorables from making 911 calls for the sake of a viral video of a streamer's shocked face as guns are pointed at their head. Former Twitch streamer Paul "Ice Poseidon" Denino was swatted several times over — sometimes at his apartment, other times in public — before the incident that got him permanently banned from Twitch. Someone called in a bomb threat on the American Airlines flight he was boarding, accusing him of terrorist activity.

Pooflower is possessed by Satan?

Robyn, better known as Pooflower, had an eye-catching aesthetic on her Twitch streams. She had an overall "Satanist" kind of motif: her Twitch bits showed up as baphomets and little triple-sixes. She wore horns and spoke in tongues. Just quirky girl things.

While some streamers like Tyler1 have earned fame for their outbursts and erratic personalities, Pooflower earned a ban. She wasn't rage quitting and flexing for the stream; instead Pooflower would draw pentagrams and upside down crosses on her face to the point that only her terrifyingly wide eyes looked out to the stream, lost in her wild black hair. She would even black out her teeth. Viewers could tune in to watch her version of a variety stream: going on unintelligible rants, eating pages from the bible, and pouring fake blood on herself while talking about cutting people up.

Disturbing as it is, most of her antics weren't bannable offenses. Weird, definitely. Bannable? Not so much. People speculated that she acted as if possessed for the sake of views, just as DrDisrespect played up his own persona. However, the possessed and murderous character went too far when she began brandishing a fake but ultimately convincing knife complete with fake blood splatter as she slashed the blade wildly. Pooflower was banned, despite there being no real danger involved with her performance. Nevertheless, the clip lives in Twitch infamy.

The scariest people are IRL

The internet can be a haven for creepy people with creepier proclivities. But reality can be just as scary, as Twitch IRL has proved time and again. Broad daylight can play host to some seriously scary situations. MsKittyNinja is an IRL streamer who made entertainment out of her everyday life. In her brush with danger, she was chatting on a busy street with a couple of seemingly homeless men. They were strange to say the least, but MsKittyNinja didn't bat an eye and took their garbled replies in stride. Things went from uncomfortable to creepy when one of the men began to follow her, insisting he wanted to feed her something "not of this world." When she later started jogging to escape his dogged pursuit, he said that he wanted to tickle her. Eventually she had to duck into a local business to hide.

Popular streamer and former MTV star Andy Milonakis had his own encounter of the majorly creepy kind while streaming from the streets of LA. Though Andy usually has no trouble approaching people, he was just sitting on his phone when someone came up and invited him to a party. The man talked nonstop, sometimes in circles, and quickly offered Andy a lollipop, saying, "You're coming with me and guess what? I haven't had sex in five years and I'm not having sex until the time comes … I'm not just about to abuse my friend, especially with the camera. Okay, turn that thing off. We need a break."

Streaming to death

Though playing video games might not seem like a demanding career, Twitch streaming can be just as, if not more, stressful than your typical 9 to 5. Big name streamers like Ninja and even Amouranth have brutal schedules, hardly allowing for a private moment away from their audience. Twelve hours a day of creating content is hard, and some streamers have taken it upon themselves to squeeze in even more broadcast hours, sometimes providing entertainment to the detriment of their own health. The pressure to provide for an ever-hungry audience can have dire consequences.

In 2017, streamer Brian "Poshybrid" Vigneault had been streaming for 22 hours straight. Hours later, viewers found that his stream had been running through the night and Poshybrid was nowhere to be found. It took a reply on Discord from a detective from the Virginia Beach police department to confirm the worst to concerned friends: when Poshybrid had walked away from the stream for a smoke break the night before, he had died in his home.

24-hour streams host a myriad of dangers for streamers, death one of them. The sedentary nature of streaming itself can spell serious health problems for streamers who find themselves with no time to exercise or even leave their cozy chairs. Poshybrid's death served as a wake-up call to the struggle for work-life balance as a livestreamer, which is still largely just an idea, rather than reality, for many.

Viewers who take things too far

It's great to have fans. Half the fun of Twitch streaming is the chat, after all. Chat has its own problems, and one of those problems appears to be the relatively simple concept of boundaries. It has been proven time and again that the denizens of the internet can take things too far.

Hearthstone streamer DisguisedToast and League of Legends streamer xChocoBars are usually very amicable with their considerable following, but had to hand out some perma-bans upon discovering a Discord that went "way over the line." According to xChocoBars, the Discord in question "updated our every move. Anytime I went into any channel. Anytime I liked a tweet. They even tracked my family's Twitch activities."

Fans can get even more obsessive, as it unfortunately turns out. Ice Poseidon received an unexpected visitor in the form of a fan who had somehow tracked down his address. This fan's appearance wouldn't be his last either. While the occasional arrival of Ice Poseidon's "stream stalker" was welcomed as just another weird addition to an already strange stream, other streamers have experienced the nightmare that is an obsessive stalker.

RuneScape streamer Jenna once broke down in tears, telling her stream about the ordeal her stalker had put her through. He had escalated to finding her offline, once confronting her at PAX. Jenna's wide-eyed terror from her livestream and the tears she cried as she plead with him to leave her alone told the whole story.

Chat is a cesspool. A racist cesspool.

We are all well aware that Twitch chat isn't the most classy of places to go and have a nice, civil discussion. When not flooded by memes and emotes, a loosely moderated chat can show the worst of what society has to offer. There is many a video of Twitch chat or even donation messages trolling streamers with racist slurs for the sake of watching them scramble to mute their audio.

That particularly heinous prank has died down as streamers have diligently worked to ban blatant racism and as Twitch became quick to ban any mention of racially charged meme-ry. However, terrible people are terribly determined to behave terribly, and thus we have the debacle around emotes. People of color on Twitch were not surprised to find that a KFC bucket emote, as part of a brand deal between PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and the restaurant, was instantly spammed in their chats as a callback to a racist, antiquated stereotype. They were confused, however, as to why Twitch had allowed its creation in the first place.

People were forced to ban the emote entirely from their chats. Before this fiasco, the TriHard emote, modeled after popular streamer TriHex, was Twitch chat's not-so-sly way of communicating racist in-jokes. Former professional Overwatch player xQc was suspended after spamming the emote when a Black caster appeared on a stream. xQc has called himself a "walking Twitch chat" so really, his racially disparaging actions came as no surprise.

Messy break ups, streamed live

There are some things, like funerals, that are probably too private, too intimate for a platform like Twitch, where hundreds of thousands of viewers congregate. The same goes for couples, too. Although Twitch is quick to hand out bans in the case of excessive public displays of affection, there's not much moderators can do about couples broadcasting their messy breakups for the world to see.

While not bannable, watching couples argue is at best distasteful, at worst outright painful. Sure, people are streaming their lives, but no one except for drama aggregates like Drama Alert want to watch two people scream at each other. And yet there are plenty of moments floating around the internet of couples who decided that on-stream was the best place to hash out their issues. Perhaps the most infamous instance when it comes to uncomfortable moments was between streamers Sodapoppin and his then-girlfriend LegendaryLea.

While streaming H1Z1, Sodapoppin was asked off-screen by Lea to drive her somewhere. The two snipe back and forth, each insisting that the other is being unreasonable. Tensions rise as Sodapoppin complains to his friend on chat, who laughs uncomfortably. This makes Lea even angrier as she says that Sodapoppin is bashing her to the stream. It's a clip that was often indicated as a sign of their crumbling relationship after the two had broken up.

Screaming kids, screaming parents

What's worse than watching a couple argue online? Watching a streamer be berated by their mom. It's really embarrassing for all parties involved, but what's more is that it appears to happen quite frequently. Usually these streams that find themselves in fail compilations feature parents bursting into the streamer's room, demanding why said streamer doesn't do more with their life.

Streamer CrReaM got a talking to by his own mother who found herself frustrated in the lack of grandchildren he had produced. "Don't you wanna have a life outside of the video game?" she asked an exasperated CrReaM as his friends on chat howled with laughter. This exchange is fairly tame as compared to kids getting busted for skipping school in order to stream, and even those are mild as compared to when parents have had enough of their children trying to "make it big" as a streamer and buying an allegedly ludicrous amount of in game skins. One streamer, who's mother was brandishing credit card bills in an absolute rage, was threatened with expulsion from his own home. We don't know which is more earsplitting: the moms who come in and yell or the streamers that scream back, sounding remarkably similar to spoiled brats.

IRL disrupting the world

Far too many times Twitch streams are titled THEY CALLED THE COPS ON US. This isn't clickbait, just an unfortunate symptom of the toxic reality that has manifested on Twitch's IRL section. There is nothing wrong with deviating from purely games-related content, but the problem with Twitch IRL is that in order to nab viewers attention, IRL streamers resort to some socially unacceptable methods.

Ice Poseidon, when he was still allowed on Twitch, was a prime example of the kind of bad behavior that made for popular content on Twitch IRL. He would go out into the world and get in peoples' faces, unafraid of making other people uncomfortable or of disrupting shops, restaurants, and other business establishments. As mentioned before, sure, sometimes people on the street were the weirdos, but there is something to be said for the way Twitch IRL seems to promote harassing strangers for the sake of content. It's not the best of manners to shove a camera in someone's face and ask weird questions.

Twitch IRL is notorious for pulling antics bad enough that people have had to call the cops, because that thumbnail later uploaded to YouTube featuring a real live cop car in the background is sure to rake in some views. Which really sucks for everyone, except for the scummy IRL streamer.

Paranormal activity live on Twitch

There are a lot of shady things happening on Twitch, and some people might allege that there are dark forces at work. At least in the background of streams. Forget roommates and friends jumping out to spook streamers as they wend their way through their favorite horror game: we're talking about the unexplained. There have been several instances of seemingly paranormal activity streamed live on Twitch.

One famous instance is when shiny Pokemon hunter SirGaryTube found he wasn't as alone as he thought he was. Just behind him, the door to his room had been left ajar. Slowly, it shut on its own accord and only after the latch clicked into place did SirGaryTube turn around and ask if chat had seen what happened. Later, when he was off-camera, it happened again.

Not scary enough for you? It can be kind of frightening staying alone in an unfamiliar place. It can be terrifying when that place is clearly haunted. Streamer Rubzy had a strange experience while pet-sitting at a friend's apartment. Like SirGaryTube, he was also having issues with doors moving by themselves. But this door was aggressive, slamming itself shut and banging against the frame as the night progressed. A box flew off of a table and lights flickered, all while Rubzy tried and failed to stay calm while playing Skyrim. Whether this is a genuine haunting or just a found-footage style prank, it's not the best clip to watch home alone in the dark.