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Twitch bans streamer for saying 'nerd'

Twitch has taken up the ban hammer once again, this time setting its sights on Fortnite and Rainbow Six Siege streamer Viperous. According to Viperous, she was banned for seven days for saying the word "nerd," which the platform interpreted as a "hateful slur."

During a stream on November 8, Viperous said "what is this nerd doing?" after being killed by another player. It seems some viewers mistook "nerd" for another word that starts with the letter "n," resulting in a Community Guidelines strike being issued on her account. In addition to the seven day ban, Twitch refunded the donations Viperous received from subscribers during the stream in question.

A slowed down version of the contested moment makes it clear that Viperous called her opponent a nerd, a word she reportedly uses "all the time" when killed by other players. The video helped quiet the outpouring of criticism Viperous received on Reddit; however, her account remains suspended.

Viperous' situation is the latest in a string of questionable suspensions handed out by Twitch. Last month, former Overwatch pro Dellor was banned permanently for "self-harm," a verdict prompted by an ongoing gag in which he would break a keyboard. Art streamer Qucqo also received a ban back in September for cosplaying as Street Fighter's Chun-Li, which Twitch interpreted as "sharing or engaging in sexually suggestive content or activities."

Though it's possible Twitch may be trying to avoid genuine controversies like YouTuber PewDiePie's actual use of a racial slur, it seems the company has grown a bit trigger happy. With so many big names opting to leave Twitch in favor other platforms like Mixer, they might wish to rethink their approach. Banning streamers for little to no reason while shrugging off real offenses committed by power personalities—like Dr. Disrespect's bathroom incident and Alinity's mistreatment of her cat—casts Twitch in a less than pleasant light.