Late last year, Twitch's most popular wig-wearing angry man, Dr Disrespect, went on a hiatus after announcing that he'd been unfaithful to his wife. Inevitably, certain pockets of Twitch turned his indiscretion into a meme. Now, many of the emotes they used to make fun of him have disappeared.
Yesterday, people noticed that a series of so-called "CD" emotes disappeared from multiple streamers' channels. When users tried to spam the emotes in chat, only the commands for them appeared, rather than the images.
A handful of streamers — including Forsen, whose notoriously "edgy" and often mean-spirited community spearheaded the meme effort — are surprised that it's come to this, especially given Dr Disrespect's reputation for talking shit about other streamers.
The origin of the "CD" emote series is a rabbit hole as imagined by M.C. Escher. It began with Forsen's community remixing a pre-existing meme — "Omegalul," a face often used to mock funny or dumb moments — to make fun of Dr Disrespect by spamming "D Omegalul C" in the wake of the controversy surrounding Dr Disrespect's marital infidelity. The words spell "Doc." For a while, that was the whole joke.
If you spam it a bunch, though, it starts to look like "Omegalul CD," which led people to just start spamming "CD." After that, people made emotes of images of Dr Disrespect with CDs where his trademark sunglasses would normally be. The trend then spread to other channels, with popular streamers like Sodapoppin, Asmongold and even Doc's PUBG pal Shroud adding emotes that basically overlayed Doc's features onto their faces.
This meme-volution took months, but Dr Disrespect has really only started to show that it's gotten under his skin in the past couple weeks. While streaming PUBG last week, he confronted Shroud about his CD emote. "What does the CD stand for?" he asked Shroud, who mostly opted to evade a procession of similar questions.
Doc eventually got around to his point. "It's like these little chubby-cheeked wannabes like to laugh and giggle behind the scenes, right? That's what it stands for," he said. Then he started laughing in a way that I think was supposed to be intimidating. "Now if I'm standing next to them in person, Shroud, these skinny, dying channels wouldn't do a damn thing about it," he said. "Just wanted to make that point, Shroud."
Yesterday morning, Dr Disrespect tweeted out a similar message to all of his followers. Not long after, CD emotes disappeared from multiple streamers' channels. People are assuming that Twitch removed them, but as of publishing the company had yet to reply to a request for comment.
The disappearance has sparked debate among Twitch streamers and viewers alike. Some view it as Twitch throwing its weight around for a streamer who, rather hypocritically, regularly makes fun of other streamers, as he most notoriously did in his feud with Tyler1.
Forsen is among them. "I was a bit surprised that he got that upset... when he's know for trash-talking 90 per cent of the big streamers on this platform," Forsen said during a stream today as his viewers spammed commands for no-longer-functioning emotes. "That was his thing."
Others have pointed out that situations like this are pretty well covered in Twitch's emote rules, which state that people should "use good judgement to avoid unauthorised uses of another person's content and intellectual property" and advises against reproducing other people's likenesses. Further, Twitch's new community policy expressly forbids "hateful conduct" and harassment.
In light of that, Asmongold was a bit more understanding than Forsen and his community. "Everyone knew what these emotes were being used for," he said on Twitter. "It was funny while it lasted but removing them is the right choice."
Of course, there are still questions about how consistently Twitch is enforcing those rules, if that's what's happened here. Big streamers like Doc may be more or less guaranteed protection in cases like this, but what about small-timers — especially when they're being targeted by bigger streamers? And what about other emotes that have been used in hateful contexts, such as Trihard? Twitch has a problem with global emotes being used for racist jokes, for example, but Twitch has yet to address the problem in a way that meaningfully cuts down on it.
As for Dr Disrespect, shortly after the emotes stopped working, he did this thing:
So yeah, there's that, I guess.