Twitch Streamer Fakes His Own Joke Swatting, Gets Banned

Twitch Streamer Fakes His Own Joke Swatting, Gets Banned

This past Saturday, the popular League of Legends-focused Twitch streamer Trick2g was putting on an elaborate 24-hour live event to commemorate the fact that he'd amassed 800,000 subscribers. He decided to end the stream with a bang: staging his own mock swatting. Come Monday morning, his account was banned.

Trick2g's Twitch channel is now offline, but you can watch the specific episode in this YouTube clip. The actual swatting starts around the three minute mark:

The clip shows Trick smoking out of a vaporizer and responding casually to commenters, when someone suddenly screams, "Police!" from the door behind him. Two men dressed as policemen then enter the room, one of them holding what looks like an assault rifle. Trick2g resists arrest, shouting, "You, what the fuck!" before hitting one of the policemen. The two cops then tackle him down the ground and hold him there for a moment before handcuffing him and walking him out of the scene.

These two men weren't actually policemen, and Trick2g wasn't actually being arrested. The dramatic finish to the stream was confirmed to be a joke in a post on Trick2g's website by his manager Cher Gambino, who called it "an extreme FAKE ending for an extremely entertaining Trick2G".

"Trick is an entertainer and that is just how it is, he streams 12-14 hours a day and brings constant laughter throughout each and every stream," Gambino wrote.

"'Now, I know some of you are saying…'Cher it is not funny to make a joke about being swatted,'" she continued. "There is always someone that thinks only their sense of humour is what matters and if they don't think it is funny then it couldn't possibly be. That is why our Country is in the shape it is now, because we fear making light of anything that might be thought of as controversial."

She ended with a statement saying that taking the ending of the stream seriously was "absurd":

To take that stream ending serious is absurd, Trick was laughing, the person used was NOT in disguise and was the same person who was on the stream all day yesterday setting up cameras and assisting the stream. The ending was scheduled for 3PM which again if thought process was used in any way, one would know that a swat team would not wait until the end of a stream to engage.

We don't have to always be politically correct to have a sense of humour and we don't have to hide the fact that we think something is funny simply because someone might not. We will not live in fear of our sense of humour but we will apologise to those who feel theirs is the only sense of humour to have. To those of you who enjoyed the theatrics throughout the 24 hour stream, we thank you. To those of you who were offended by the ending we apologise but together we thank you for supporting the stream and look forward to the 1 million follower 24 hour stream. I am thinking of a whale jumping out of the water to eat him and I will check first to see if this would offend anyone.

Trick, for his part, didn't say much about the stunt after it had been pulled other than to suggest it was a joke as well on his personal Twitter account — tweeting a link to Akon's hit single "Locked Up" on Sunday:

...before following up with "kappa," a ubiquitous Twitch term used to acknowledge that you've just made a sarcastic joke:

Trick2g's account ban first went into effect on Monday morning, his manager told Kotaku over Skype today. Gambino said that while Twitch was told that the swatting was a joke "immediately," they still received a statement from the company saying his account had violated Twitch's terms of service. Many spectators online are saying that the ban is only for four months, but as of now, Gambino told me that they're "not sure" how long the ban is going to last. When asked about the decision to ban Trick's account, a representative from Twitch told Kotaku, "We don't comment on Terms of Service violations."

Trick2g is primarily known for his work streaming League of Legends, and some in the game's wide-ranging community recoiled in disgust upon learning about the fake swatting. The professional player Marcel Feldkamp called out the stunt and Gambino's ensuing justification of it for disrespecting a "traumatising" experience that others have actually gone through:

Talking to Gambino over Skype, the manager reiterated that she feels critics of the stream are being oversensitive. To her, the entire event was clearly supposed to be a piece of entertainment and not any sort of "political statement."

"If you saw the stream, there were theatrics the whole time," Cher told me over Skype. "We had sailor girls, prirate girls, singing bears, singing pigs, prize wheels. His stream was from 3PM Friday to 3PM Saturday. I can't imagine a swat team waiting for someone to finish a stream — not to mention the actors were the same people on stream the day before setting up, not to mention they were laughing."

"I don't know what to tell you other than: if it offends one person it must be wrong," Gambino concluded. "We have lost the right to comedy. Or we have at least lost the right to comedy if it offends one person, which means Saturday Night Live must really have to watch what they do."

Regardless of how Trick2g's manager feels about the situation, it's not like the man is being universally condemned for his actions. Since news of his Twitch ban began to spread online this morning, many fans have been expressing their support on Twitter with the hashtag #freetrick. Here's a small slice of it:

Twitch Streamer Fakes His Own Joke Swatting, Gets Banned

When I asked Gambino if they're making any other plans to continue streaming on another service, she said: "We are working on the details of what we will be doing now."


Comments

    So... where's the game? In the video there's like, 3 windows for chat, 1 window for the camera, and another window for donations.

      Personalities seem to take precedence once they get big enough. I was browsing Twitch once and came across quite a few instances where the game window was less than 1/8th of the screen. In one case, a streamer made it pretty clear that her cleavage was the main focus, with about 6 tiny windows all around it.

    Because swatting is just hilarious. Great to see Twitch doesn't mess around with this stuff.

      I think the Streamer and his manager miss a big point about being an entertainer - owning the consequences of your jokes. If you offend someone, own it. Acknowledge it. Talk about it. Don't just dismiss it. It's lazy and stupid.

      At least if they said, 'Yeah, it may seem like a dick move. Let's talk about why. Let's have a conversation about SWATTING. Let's talk about how the actual victims of SWATTING feel about this, how swatting really is a bad thing to do." Then it becomes proper satire. This is just lazy. But then, most of Twitch personality streaming is just attention grabbing nonsense.

        No one was offended. People just don't seem to agree with it because possibly someone might be offended. And that is ridiculous.

        Can you find me one person who says it personally offended them because of their personal experience of swatting?

        EDIT: Love the silent downvoters, whiteknighting it but scared to admit it.

        Last edited 04/08/15 7:18 pm

          I was speaking broadly. I don't think entertainers should feel limited for fear of offending anyone. And in this case I don't think it's really about offending victims of swatting.

          Genuine satire would embrace the opportunity to have a valuable discussion around an important topic. All this does is equate swatting and it's impacts to the butt of a joke. There's no commentary, no responsibility, no maturity. They'e even said that outright themselves.

          I'm not saying they can't do this stuff, but they should at least acknowledge when the criticisms of their work are valid. They haven't done that - they've outright dismissed any concerns raised. They haven't even broached the topic of whether or not their work is socially responsible.

          Again, I'll reiterate - trick and his crew don't have to behave responsibly. They can be dismissive and create any kind of video they want. But I don't think they can complain about Twitch taking a stance when they believe they (i.e. Twittier) have a responsibility to police the behaviour on their platform.

          At best, trick and his crew are irresponsible. At worst, they're deliberately misrepresenting a serious issue and it's consequences. They should be free to do that. But we should also be able to criticise them when they're work appears to be irresponsible.

            Do you refuse to laugh at SNL because it doesn't meet your requirements for satire?

            Humour doesn't need to have a point, an issue, a responsibility to society. It can, and thats great, but you simply can't put those restrictions on all humour in all media.

            And the complaint that their response to criticism... why are they obliged to respond at all? The majority of complaints seem to be about it being offensive. Without anyone actually being offended. And no one is being prevented from criticising them in any way.

            Twitter's response is not a criticism, and bears more scrutiny. The basis for the ban, who was involved in the determination, how it was reached, examples of previous cases, ongoing policing practices. Because this reeks of SJWs shouting loud empty manipulative threats at Twitch the same way they did with Twitter.

              I'll reiterate what what said above - entertainers should be able to make what ever kind of jokes they want. Just because I don't find it funny is irrelevant. I'm not saying they should be restricted.

              I do think that they have acted irresponsibly though. That's my main issue with this. It seems like a fairly immature and irresponsible way to treat what is a fairly serious issue. Regardless of anyone being offended or not, it does render the issue a bit of a joke for the viewers, which I disagree with.

              Moreover, I think their response to the criticism has also been immature - just dismiss it as oversensitive ninnies over reacting. Now again I'll reiterate so I'm not misunderstood - they don't have to be responsible or engage in constructive discussion about the issues. But I just think they should be responsible, and they should talk about the issues.

              Additionally, skepticism of Twitch's response to all this is also warranted. My issues in my above comments were in relation to Trick's actions, not Twitch's. But yes, it would also be good to discuss their actions as well.

                Fair enough. We're focused on different aspects, but in general agreement. Good day to you.

    His first stream back he'll sexually assault a woman while wearing black face then get shot by a cop. Because hilarious....

      This is not the same, don't pretend it is. Seriously worried about the lack of rational thinking vs smarmy comments on legitimate issues of media representation.

    He's a pretty huge streamer.
    like within the top 15 of all of twitch, with over 2M views. Pretty huge.
    http://socialblade.com/twitch/user/trick2g

    He has 800k followers not subscribers.

    I have no opinion on whether it was appropriate or not, it didn't offend me personally. That said, I didn't find it funny or entertaining either. It was way too obviously staged, sitcom-level stupid. His stream audience seemed to enjoy it though, and that's what matters really.

    *reads kotaku article on swatting hoax
    *opens up Reviewtech USA to hear Rich rant and rage at a clearly obvious idiot making a terrible joke in terrible taste to gain infamy and draw more followers in

    Zero Tolerance Policy is the way to go. Why? Cause the victims of swatting are popular Twitch Streamers, Youtubers,Pro-gamers and thats there bread and butter... so what, they knock one idiot down for making a bad joke, they just protected the other 99.99999% of Twitch streamers by reinforcing a zero tolerance to swatting... WE AT TWITCH TAKE SWATTING DEAD SERIOUS, NO JOKES!!!

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