Streamer Trihex Apologises For Homophobic Slur After Twitch Suspends His Channel

Image: Trihex

Even if you haven’t heard of Twitch streamer and speedrunner Trihex, you’ve almost certainly seen him. He’s the face of the near-ubiquitous “Trihard” emote, a chat icon people use both in good fun and, unfortunately, to mock people of colour. As of now, while the emote remains on Twitch, Trihex himself has been temporarily banned.

Over the weekend, Trihex’s Twitch channel got banned. While Twitch doesn’t comment on bans, Trihex allegedly drew Twitch’s ire when he called a friend who was in the same room as him a “f*ggot”, which is against Twitch’s rules. He was banned less than 24 hours later.

After the banhammer fell, Trihex acknowledged his insensitive word choice in a post on Twitter.

“Last night, I said a word of derogatory nature,” he wrote on Sunday. “In my past, I frequented portions of the internet & chat rooms where such language was normalized. Since then, I understand that such word(s) is harmful and not okay. I apologise for my poor behaviour and to anyone who is offended. I never intend to demean any persons of marginalization.”

He also said that he plans to do everything in his power to “stop usage” of those words “myself as well as within my community”.

As of now, it’s uncertain how long he’ll remain banned, but other streamers have previously been exiled from Twitch for as many as 30 days for similar infractions, even when it was their first violation. Kotaku reached out to Trihex for more comment, but as of writing, he’d yet to reply.

While some of Trihex’s fans have said they appreciate his frank apology, others feel as though the ban isn’t entirely fair. They point to the fact that Trihex is a chill, generally kindhearted streamer who doesn’t walk the line in the same way as others who’ve been banned for slurs or other poor linguistic choices in the past.

A vocal contingent has latched onto the case of another, much rowdier streamer named Reckful, who recently went on an extended rant about how, if somebody got in his face, he’d “hire 10 people to kill your entire fucking family”. They’ve taken to questioning Twitch’s priorities, given that Trihex said an admittedly shitty word and apologised but remains banned, while Reckful has, thus far, suffered no consequences for making frightening threats.

This is far from the first time Twitch has received criticism for inconsistency in moderation, with users accusing the company of favouritism on a regular basis. Some of this thinking is conspiratorial, but in other cases, the roots of it, at least, are hard to ignore. Streamers such as Ninja have received slaps on the wrist for language and actions that almost certainly would’ve incurred more severe consequences for other streamers.

Twitch has also struggled to define and consistently enforce rules surrounding harassment and sexual content, which has led to female streamers receiving undue hate just for existing on the platform.

For now, though, Trihex is taking his ban in stride.

“I’m gonna use this time to reflect & reform,” he wrote. “See you all soon.”


Comments

    "Even if you haven’t heard of Twitch streamer and speedrunner Trihex, you’ve almost certainly seen him."

    Nope.

      Context matters. To apparently the bulk of writers, 'The Internet' pretty much just means the three Ts: Twitch, Twitter, and Tumblr.

      Honestly thought Trihex was some sort of acne cream.

    I totally used that word as i was growing up. Times have changed and now i would never use it. He made a mistake, Twitch needs to chill out. Stopping someone from working for a month for a slip up is ridiculous

    Last edited 09/10/18 1:14 pm

      Except he isn't a teenager who is trying to edgy. He's a freaking 29yo man who should know better

        As i said, i used it growing up because it was normal in the 90's and id bet you a million dollars he did as well. It should never be used now, we all know that. Slip of the tongue, everyone chill

    Double standards at play here for sure. While many streamers are swearing all over the place, dropping f-bombs, c-bombs and whatever else without any repercussions (and in fact have built their entire streaming careers off a personality centred around doing so) this guy drops one word - that was said as a joke to an irl friend that was in the same room as him, I might add...that some people might consider offensive and he gets banned for it. Not even a warning despite is squeaky clean record, just an immediate ban.

    It was not malicious, there was no intent behind it, it was only aimed at a specific person that was clearly fine with it and not anyone else. Who here has not said something like that to a mate as a joke? It's just stupid.

    Twitch has some growing up to do.

      The solution to 'double standards' is to apply penalties equally, not to give everyone an equally free pass.

      Besides, like the guy said: he grew up in an environment where that unacceptable language was normalized. Letting it pass would only be perpetuating the normalization. Punishments that push back against that unconscious harm are worth it, even if in this particular instance the guy is self-aware of not only why it's not cool but also what part of his upbringing ties into why he used it, and how that's also not cool.

      I've been in the room when juvenile ass friends have used that word as an insult while my gay brother - who they know is gay - has been sitting right there. They very obviously didn't MEAN to demean him. It's clear when the atmosphere turns cold, smiles disappear, and you rebuke with a disapproving, "Dude," and they realize what they've done and apologize. It's just part of the language, y'know? Words without meaning, right?

      But you know what? Sure as fuck doesn't mean that in that instant it was said, my brother wasn't immediately reminded of it and all its baggage and its considerably negative impact on his life; that there are still many places where it's fully fucking intended to cause offense, that in so much of society he is not only unwelcome but is some kind of enemy. It's an echo of marginalization, intolerance, hostility, of being an outsider. In that instant, a good time turned pretty quickly sour. Because of that normalization.

      The harm matters. If it's just some unthinking, reflexive 'bad habit', the only way that changes is if we discourage the bad habit when it crops up.

        Quite frankly, I'm offended at your use of the word "F***". I would kindly like to ask you to remove it from your comment please.

          If you think the two are comparable, you didn't read his post properly. Prejudicial slurs that draw attention to a person's 'otherness' and remind them of the extensive history of those slurs being used to marginalise, hurt and exclude people who share the trait being prejudiced against are on a whole different level to just taking offence.

            Still offended by it. Such words had been used against me in derogatory manners. Just because it's not the same, doesn't make it any less.

              Yeah, because we punish murderers and jaywalkers the same, right? Fuck we do. Similarly, Not all forms of offense are equal, either.

              Severity of impact matters, trying to pretend it doesn't is just being an ass.

                You're actively downplaying the impact words have on a person because, to you, they aren't as offensive. I've asked you to not say it, and yet you continue to do so. How are you any different from someone else who continues to say such things because they don't deem it as offensive to themselves.

                  There is this thing called laws. A lot of developed nations (australia included) have laws against hate speech. He used a slur which would be considered hate speech. Your feelings on the other hand are not protected by law. No one has the right not to be offended. If you take offense that's your problem.

              You're arguing a straw man. Offensiveness isn't the criteria for the words being banned, being a prejudicial slur is.

                The only reason those words are deemed as such is because people find them offensive

                  That's not even remotely true, and I explained some of the reasons why they're different in my earlier post. You're chasing false equivalence.

                  @zombiejesus Yes it is. If people weren't offended by those words they wouldn't be deemed "slurs". It's that simple.

                  Prejudicial slurs go beyond simply being offensive, that has been explained to you already. You fully understand the difference, stop trying to conflate two clearly different things. You're being disingenuous, and you're employing very transparently faulty reasoning.

                Just got trolled embarrassingly hard. Thought they were genuine for a second.

                  I think he believes they should be the same, but knows they're not. False equivalence is a pretty common fallacy to try to make something seem less bad than it really is.

                  @zombiejesus Not at all. I'm saying all words deemed offensive should be banned.

                  Take the word "boy". It's use as a racial slur is well documented. Let's ban the use of that word also.

                  Yeah man, I wish I saw this earlier and told you. The guy belongs to the camp that believes that words have absolutely no power to cause harm and that "offence" is something existing on the listener's side only.

          'Fuck' is an equal opportunity swear. No-one's ever been marginalized by it. There is no power differential rubbed in by its use. It's not about the 'perceived offense' to a contradiction in values... It's about the harm that's gone with, and the targeting of a minority. Much like the 'n' word.

          Fuck ain't even close.

            So you'll willingly offend people, because to you, it's a nothing word. Cool

        I wasn't implying anyone should get a free pass. Twitch needs to draw a line in the sand and say this is it, everyone gets punished. You can't have one set of rules for one group of people and another set of rules for another group. Everyone should be punished.

        I'm just drawing attention to the obvious inconsistency.

          Why do you think it's inconsistent? Generic curse words and prejudicial slurs aren't the same thing. Twitch's rules ban the latter specifically.

            The lines on these things are further blurred due to who says a word. For example the n-word is considered fine if a black guy says it to another black guy, but if a white guy says it it's a completely different story...not just on Twitch but in society in general. The usage of the word should be universally banned, not have it okay for some to say it but not okay for others. If both of these guys were actually homosexual, and one said it to another, would we even be discussing this? I'd say possibly not.

            There's a scene in the movie Rush Hour where Chris Tucker meets up with some of his African-American friends and he greets them by saying "yo what's up, my n****". A little later when he's been left alone, Jackie Chan's character, being Chinese, doesn't know what the word means and casually repeats the phrase to one of them, thinking he's being friendly, but the other guy takes offense and a fight breaks out. While the scene is supposed to be funny and is exaggerated somewhat for comedic effect, it still highlights the big underlying problem at play with stuff like this.

              Slurs are banned on Twitch no matter the speaker. I'm not sure why you think Twitch is being inconsistent and 'needs to grow up' given that.

              If your problem is with society in general being inconsistent, that's not a problem with Twitch firstly, but it also ignores how important context is in language. There are tons of contexts we run into daily that limit the words we should be able to say without crossing a line - you might call your girlfriend 'sugartits' because the context of your relationship allows that, but it would be inappropriate for a random stranger on the street to call her the same. Likewise, your dad might be able to say that to your mum, but you sure as hell shouldn't.

              Of course those are fairly tame examples, but the principle is important. It's the same principle that says a black guy might be able to use the N-word, but a white guy definitely shouldn't. The context is different between the two people.

                They might have a policy but how often is it actually policed? I've heard on numerous occasions over the years while watching various streams of the n-word being dropped when one black guy says it to another black guy and nobody bats an eyelid.

                  Twitch relies on user reports or talk about it on social media for the most part, they don't have the manpower to watch every stream themselves and automated systems to detect that kind of thing are quite unreliable, especially with thicker accents.

                  I'm not saying it's definitely the case, Twitch has certainly had consistency issues in the past, but it's possible the streams you heard it said in simply weren't reported by any of the viewers too.

      You honestly can't see the difference between generic swear words and a homophobic slur?

        It can, it's just trolling. Ignore. (Ohwait, I thought you were talking about that nuffman character. Wrong level of reply.)

        Last edited 09/10/18 2:45 pm

        I'm saying it shouldn't matter. Both should be banned. Many people are still offended by generic swear words.

          No one has the right to not be offended. To be offended by something is a personal opinion. Hate speech on the other hand has a huge history of being used to cause not offense but harm.
          Im offended by people that wear pink. That causes me no harm. Using slurs to degrade some one and devalue their life, that causes harm. Might want to look up suicide rates in the gay community especially in days gone where these terms were acceptable to use to see how much harm.

      The word has always had a derogatory meaning, unless you are talking about a bundle of sticks. He could of called him a C**t or similar but he chose to call his friend a well known derogatory word in a private company's forum. Thems' the breaks of breaking the terms and agreements.

    I cautiously ventured into the comments expecting there to be a ton of edgelords debating why the f slur isn't necessarily a slur when they use it for big chuckles with their mates and instead there's a heated debate about generic swear words deserving equal prohibition as hate speech and slurs. What.

      Most of the comment section is level heading having a proper debate.

      There is just the one moron who is offended by the word fuck.

    This comment section reminds me of a South Park episode about calling people gay.

    Time for another edition of Kotaku readers defending the use of abusive language because "he didn't mean it like that". Once again for the people in the back: you cant say whatever you want in the public domain and expect no repercussions. The real world is going to eat most of you alive when you finish school.

    Can't say I like that subtle suggestion that Twitch should remove the TriHard emote, but at this point I'm not surprised it was put in this article.

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