Twitch banned Dr Disrespect after viewing messages sent to a minor, say former employees

Twitch abruptly banned one of its biggest stars — Herschel “Guy” Beahm, better known by his persona Dr Disrespect — in 2020 without a word of explanation. Now, four years after Beahm’s permanent ban, two former Twitch employees have come forward to describe events they say contributed to his removal from the platform.

One former Twitch employee, who asked to remain anonymous citing the potential risk to their career, told The Verge that Beahm had used Whispers, Twitch’s now-defunct messaging system, to exchange messages with a minor and initiate a conversation about meeting up at TwitchCon. The employee worked on Twitch’s trust and safety team at the time of the ban in 2020.

Their comments corroborate a post from Cody Conners, a former Twitch employee who worked on the company’s strategic partnerships team. Late Friday, Conners posted on X, “He got banned because got caught sexting a minor in the then existing Twitch whispers product. He was trying to meet up with her at TwitchCon. The powers that be could read in plain text.”

Though Conners did not explicitly name Beahm, it was understood the streamer was the subject of the post. Beahm’s ban came shortly after Twitch updated its sexual harassment policy to punish offenders with permanent suspensions.

Beahm denied Connors’ allegations. “This has been settled, no wrongdoing was acknowledged, and they paid out the whole contract,” he posted on X. Beahm published an additional post reiterating that no wrongdoing was found. “I didn’t do anything wrong, all this has been probed and settled, nothing illegal, no wrongdoing was found, and I was paid,” he wrote.

The news of Beahm’s ban, which came down four years ago this week, was shocking. Beahm was one of Twitch’s most popular stars at the time, with around 4 million followers, and he had just signed a seven-figure, two-year exclusivity contract with the platform. Neither Twitch nor Beahm would say why the streamer had been banned. In an interview with The Washington Post shortly after the ban, Beahm said that Twitch wouldn’t even tell him the reason why his account had been removed.

The former employee who spoke with The Verge also shared more insight into the order of events that led to the ban. They said there was a significant amount of time between when the messages between Beahm and the alleged victim were sent and when the moderation report about those messages was filed, but they weren’t able to recall how much time. When Twitch received the report in 2020, they said that Twitch investigated the claims and ultimately banned Beahm’s channel.

A year after being banned, Beahm said he was suing Twitch for monetary damages and disclosed that he finally knew why the platform issued the ban. However, Beahm declined to say what that was. A year later, the dispute was resolved with Beahm saying, “I have resolved my legal dispute with Twitch. No party admits to any wrongdoing.”

Beahm and Twitch did not respond to The Verge’s requests for comment.

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