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Dr. Disrespect's Twitch Ban Is Over

Did you ever hear the one about the guy who filmed video in a public restroom and got punished with a two-week vacation?

Two weeks ago, we reported that Twitch streamer Dr. Disrespect had streamed from inside a public bathroom at E3, earning himself a ban from both E3 and Twitch in the process. And you might recall the tone of inevitability; that Dr. Disrespect would eventually be allowed to return to Twitch, if not to keep money flowing to the social streaming platform, but — according to streamer Crankage Games — to keep him from going anywhere else.

Sure enough, his Twitch ban is now officially over. The Doc's channel is back.

Even Dr. Disrespect didn't think he'd be exiled for good. Just a few days after the ban went into effect, he showed off some new Twitch emotes he'd prepared for his comeback; tiny images featuring his head peeking out above a bathroom stall. And as we looked at the story here, even we didn't believe the ban would last very long. Twitch has long come under fire for seemingly keeping two sets of rules in place: one for the lower-tier streamers, and another for the big names. It's entirely possible that a lesser-known streamer would've been booted permanently for doing the same thing. And in fact, some have been blacklisted for doing far less.

But Dr. Disrepect is far too important. Were he to go to Mixer, hordes of faithful viewers and subscribers would follow. And before long, the Twitch competitor would suddenly look like a reasonable home for other big-time streamers to set up shop.

It's unclear what exactly a Ninja or a Dr. Disrepect would have to do to be kicked off of Twitch forever. In the Doc's case, he violated both Twitch's terms of services and a California state law in one fell swoop. That kind of seems like a big deal. But if the entertainment world has taught us anything, it's that scandal sells. Dr. Disrespect will kick off another stream either today or in the next few days, and he'll probably have more people tuning in than before his ban.

In the meantime, Twitch needs to find a little bit of consistency in the enforcement of its rules. The platform already slipped up pretty badly this year by unbanning a streamer who physically assaulted his fiancée (Twitch did eventually backpedal on that, after the internet revolted). It really doesn't need more of these kinds of stories.