Banned Twitch Streamer Can't Even Show His Face On Roomates' Streams [Updated]

Image: Hyphonix

Twitch streamer Hyphonix admits that he's made some "mistakes." A lot of mistakes, in fact. Enough to get himself suspended from Twitch on nine different occasions. Because of that, his current suspension is 30 days long. Problem: he lives in a house with two other full-time streamers, and if he shows up on their streams, he could be perma-banned from Twitch.

Hyphonix lives in a house in Los Angeles with fellow streamers Alfie and Black, with whom he moved in five months ago. They stream nearly around the clock, with Alfie recently boasting of a 41-hour marathon stream, among other things.

Due to the terms of his latest suspension, Hyphonix cannot appear on anyone's stream even just as a disembodied voice. It's harder than it sounds when that's all that's ever happening in your own home. Hyphonix, banned from streaming and stranded on a streamer island of his own making, is now dealing with the most 2018 dilemma imaginable.

Hyphonix believes the suspension came as the result of him taking off his shirt after covering himself in tomato sauce as part of a stream in which he protested against Twitch's new dress code and terms of service.

A few days in, the solitude is already starting to get to him. Yesterday, he voiced his frustrations on Twitter, describing the situation as "depressing" and pleading with Twitch to "let me talk with my roommates, please."

He elaborated to Kotaku in a DM, saying that he has to tell his housemates to turn their cameras off and mute their mics any time he walks by. If they don't, they could get in trouble, and he could find himself staring down the barrel of a perma-ban, rather than his current temporary one.

"Since I'm banned," he said, "I just can't live in the household that I reside in trying to live a normal life. I have to be an outcast in order to protect myself and them as well."

It's a hole that Hyphonix has played no small role in digging himself into. When he's not playing games like Runescape (and sometimes when he is), he pulls boundary-pushing stunts that involve everything from destruction of property to pouring a variety of liquids on himself to, on a couple of occasions, nudity. He's a self-described "edgy" streamer who, in his own words, "just wants to be stupid." But Twitch's community guidelines specifically prohibit nudity in most circumstances, as well as any activities that "may endanger your life or lead to your physical harm." You can be naked, stupid, or both, but not on Twitch.

In this particular case, Hyphonix understands why he got suspended, but he also feels like his infraction was relatively minor. But this is his tenth suspension from the service, and these things have a way of adding up. Hyphonix believes that this is probably his "last chance."

Ironically, Hyphonix says he first moved into the house because streaming can be a pretty lonely gig. "Talking to a computer screen with thousands of live viewers does not always give the fulfillment you want in life," he said. "So we moved in, as an attempt to make quality of life better for each other, not use each other for easy self-gain."

Of course, it doesn't hurt to have other streamers living with you, given that more streamers means more sweet, sweet Content (TM).

Now, however, Hyphonix is on his own, and his future is uncertain. Some fans are encouraging him to go outside and find a hobby, while others are repeating a refrain that's become increasingly common among streamers who don't care to follow Twitch's rules: move to YouTube, where the rules are more lax. But only the most loyal of his followers would join Hyphonix in taking that blind leap, so he's playing things as safe as possible for now.

Moving to another home is not currently on the table. Hyphonix described his current streamer house as more of a "family" than a business, free of the competitive drama that divides many similar living arrangements. There's even a silver lining to it if he gets perma-banned from Twitch.

"If my ban was to be a perma," he said, "I'd move to YouTube live-streaming but still live in the same household, because streaming would be more IRL outside rather than being indoors."

Given the current situation, the outdoors sound like exactly what Hyphonix needs right now.

Update: Since the publication of this story, Hyphonix has said that he talked to Twitch, and the company has granted him permission to be on camera with his roommates, so long as he is not the main focus of their streams.


    "Since I'm banned," he said, "I just can't live in the household that I reside in trying to live a normal life.

    Son, yours is not a normal life. If it were, you wouldn't have this 'problem.'

    Perhaps wear a bag over his head? Supplemented with a gag, he’d be out of trouble completely.

    What a knobber, lol. He should have thought of the consequences before being an idiot so many times, given he has such a reliance on Twitch that he literally lives it every day.

    He should already be perma-banned. 9 previous bans and he's still allowed to stream? No, you don't get 9 chances. Why isn't he perma-banned already?

      Because people who grew up only hearing "Everyone wins" and "no one can ever feel bad" now control everything.

        I'm sorry but no.

        You don't get suspended from your job 9 times and get to keep your job. You'll be sacked long before it reaches that point.

        It's ridiculous that this guy has been banned from twitch NINE times and all he gets on this most recent occasion is a 30 day ban. There should be zero tolerance for this - you get suspended once, you have time to think over what you've done. You come back on probation - if you screw up again, you're out. Gone.

        I don't care if it's this guy's livelihood, or his job to stream. In any other job you don't get 9 chances, you get 1. Maybe 2 if you're lucky. He should be perma-banned from twitch and out looking for another job by now.

          I'm agreeing with you bro lol. But it's because they don't wanna deal with the pushback from the 'fans' who will leave Twitch once he sets up shop on Youtube or some other website.

        No. Because Twitch makes a shitton of money off him and, while Twitch needs to be seen to be doing something in order to keep their advertisers on side, ultimately they're kinda addicted to the revenue he brings in.

      The simple answer is probably "because he is making them money". If he was a nobody, I'm sure he would have been banned permanently.

    Twitch is lame as f these days. Wouldn't watch anyone on there if I had the choice anyway.

    So this is all the gaming world has become, lame daily stories of people like xQc or this chap who think they are edgy, getting upset because the format they want to use actual have taste and guidelines. Which is about protecting minors, or their business' reputation and other such things.

    Sorry man, but you got your ass banned. Follow the rules or don't come back. Hell, after ban #3, they should have shut him down permanently.

    I lost monetisation on my YT channel this year as a result of the selfish and harmful actions from these kind of 'edgy' creators, so my sympathy now for anyone in a similar, self-imposed predicament is pretty much nil.

    They flaunt their perceived invincibility by constantly breaking the rules and end up ruining things for everyone on the platform by creating a need for tighter restrictions that impact creator communities as a whole.

    I find it difficult to listen to anyone who complains about their punishment while also claiming they understand and fully deserve it.

    Please stop reporting on these people, they really don't deserve the air-time and it's diminishing the lesson they should be learning from their punishment. I understand that this article is aimed at how bizzare the current Twitch / Streamer landscape has become but ultimately it's still lending credence to their childish complaints.

    I’m surprised nudity is still a problem in 2018. How is it more gratuitous than an unboxing?

    On the one hand I have no sympathy for someone who knows the rules yet breaks them repeatedly. People need to learn about a thing called consequences for your actions and it's disappointing that YouTube seems to be being portrayed as the place to go if you don't want to follow rules.

    On the other hand, this is an incredibly scary precedent and highlights a very important question. How much power should a streaming service have over your own private life? Twitch has now essentially intruded into Hyphonix's home and restricted his ability to live freely. They have also now effectively put a restraining order on him so if he happens to walk past someone doing an IRL stream in the street, he's banned. Vindictive people can quite easily hunt him down and include him on their stream.

    It's one thing to be banned from your own streaming account because you broke the rules (repeatedly) but to put a blanket ban from appearing on any stream in a world where streaming is all over the place feels to me like an abuse of authority, invasion of privacy and quite frankly, an illegal act.

      Uh no, he's not being threatened with imprisonment. He's being threatened with a ban from THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED BUSINESS PLATFORM. This in no way intrudes on his 'life' or 'freedom' - he does not have a 'right' to use their platform. He can do what he wants in his house - he just gets banned from their commercial service. You don't 'own' your streaming account, the company does. Act like he does, and they are well within their commercial and legal rights to shut you down.

      Twitch didn't tell him to move into a share house with other streamers. Twitch just told him to abide by the rules. Which he hasn't done. Nine times previously, NINE.

    He should stream over at pornhub, he can be nude all he wants there. :)

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