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The Dr Disrespect Drama Takes Another Turn

Update: GIPHY has clarified it has not removed any Dr Disrespect content due to policy violations or other issues. According to the company's spokesperson, the missing Dr Disrespect gifs were likely removed by the user(s) that uploaded them.

Original story below:

On June 26, Dr Disrespect was hit with a sudden, and supposedly permanent, ban from Twitch. Now the story has gone from mysterious to downright weird, as users of popular gif site Giphy recently noticed that all gifs featuring the streamer seem to have vanished from it.

So why the sudden disappearance of the gifs?

As Forbes contributor Erik Kain says, "It's hard not to have your mind drift to very bad things when we just don't know." He's referring to the fact that the few people who do know the reason behind Doc's ban aren't sharing it, and that in itself could be a possible reason for the sudden removal of Dr Disrespect's gifs. Perhaps Giphy is trying to get out ahead of what it thinks might become a scandal at some point. It's also possible users whose minds have gone to those very bad things are reporting his gifs as offensive or against Giphy's community standards.

On the other hand, though, a simple Twitch ban doesn't seem like it would be enough to get someone removed from Giphy. American president Donald Trump, for example, returns plenty of results on the website, and The Verge is reporting that he, too, was recently banned from Twitch. If Giphy is now removing gifs featuring certain people from its collection, it might not necessarily be tied to Twitch bans or other related controversies.

Weirder still — searches will still turn up images tagged with Dr Disrespect's name. This mustached, sunglasses-wearing man who resembles the Doc (but is clearly not the same person) can still be found on Giphy. Dr Disrespect himself, however, cannot be.

What little we know about Giphy's removal policies comes from 2018. Back then, Giphy told The Verge that it routinely reexamines the content it hosts, and keeps what the outlet called "a blacklist of terms and offensive content, which is continually updated." However, Giphy made that particular statement in reference to content that included violence and Nazi imagery. Is it possible Dr Disrespect got added to that blacklist somehow? It would be really strange for a video game personality — even one in the middle of some drama — to somehow get added to a list like that. But stranger things have happened.

In any event, speculation about the gif removals — and the ban itself — has been fruitless thus far. With all the hush-hush around the reason for the ban, things are likely to remain that way for some time, unless there's a leak or unless Dr Disrespect himself comes forward to finally explain what happened.

The whole situation is pretty bizarre. As Gamerant's Anthony Taormina points out, while it's not uncommon for sponsors to drop streamers who get caught up in scandals, it's much more unusual to see their faces scrubbed from entire sections of the internet.

That's all we know for now. If there are further breaks in the Dr Disrespect story (or if things somehow get even weirder), we'll be sure to report on it.