In news that I never thought would actually be news: Twitch has reportedly banned streamers for, get this, pretending to lick your ear. You truly cannot make this shit up.
Just a month after Twitch finally caved to community pressure and introduced a Pools, Hot Tubs and Beaches streaming category, it has decided to do the complete opposite for the ASMR community by reportedly banning streamers for making ear-licking sounds.
There’s a lot to unpack here, so you might want to sit down.
ASMR is hardly new on Twitch, and a lot of the time it’s safe-for-work and not inherently sexual. Many people use it as a sort of white noise machine, or to help them relax after a stressful day.
At the time of publishing, the ASMR Twitch category has a whopping 2.4 million followers, with ear-licking videos (from both humans and cats) dominating the niche.
However, the ear-licking category has ruffled some feathers recently, resulting in two of the most popular streamers in this niche — Kaitlyn “Amouranth” Siragusa and Jenelle “Indiefoxx” Dagres — getting banned from the platform.
While Twitch is yet to officially comment on the ban, or disclose a reason, it is believed to be a result of the content and clothing during streams, which push the boundaries of Twitch’s terms of service.
Both streamers have been banned from the platform for unspecified lengths of time, which has reportedly resulted in a huge spike in interest on OnlyFans for Amouranth.
587 new subs on OF since the ban mere hour or two ago pic.twitter.com/KkuRHUCGSQ
— Kaitlyn (@wildkait) June 19, 2021
Hey @Amouranth wanna go to a spa since we both have the weekend off? I could really use a tongue massage.
— Indiefoxx ???? OF (@indiefoxxlive) June 19, 2021
If Amouranth sounds familiar, it’s because she also happened to be the streamer at the centre of the hot tub streaming controversy that recently resulted in Twitch back-pedalling on its demonetisation of her channel.
At the time, Twitch said that “being found to be sexy by others is not against our rules, and Twitch will not take enforcement action against women, or anyone on our service, for their perceived attractiveness.”
The responses to both streamers’ bans have been mixed, with many asserting that the Twitch TOS is vague and unclear on exactly what does and doesn’t violate the policy.
Twitch wrote themselves into a corner by playing into the intellectually dishonest rhetoric that they won't punish "perceived attractiveness" of streamers who make obviously sexual content
If they do something, they side with incels, if they don't, they're SJWs
— Zack (@ZackRawrr) June 18, 2021
However, other big streamers such as Pokimane have since come out asserting that streamers who reportedly “push the envelope” could be hurting the rest of the ASMR community.
“I feel really bad for legitimate ASMR artists,” she said on-stream. “For people to come into your category and get to the top by doing the splits with their butt out and gurgling into a mic? It sucks, it’s unfortunate.”
At this point, all we know for sure is that both streamers have copped bans, with the reason and length of the suspension yet to be specified.
Kotaku Australia has reached out to Twitch for comment and will update this story accordingly.