Twitch streamer Knut Spildrejorde recently got banned from the platform for 30 days for what he suggests was a period where his chat was unmoderated and users were making transphobic comments during an IRL steam featuring Andy Milonakis and other internet personalities.
Knut Spildrejorde is best known for his IRL streams on Twitch and Mixer but, just like any other internet personality, he's not immune from controversy.
Knut Spildrejorde assisted a poker event in Costa Rica on October 5th sponsored by Americas Cardroom and MSI, which was also attended by Andy Milonakis and people from his circle of friends.
As it turns out, Knut quickly found himself swimming in troubles when he decided to approach him in the company of two transgender sex workers and shout “Andy, I have some girls for you”, which was shortly followed by an awkward silence in the poker room.
Knut Spildrejorde got banned from Twitch
According to Knut, during the incident “some of the comments made in the chat were unkind and insensitive.”
At the time, people thought that it was Knut's response during the stream that caused his ban – particularly when he compared physical age to gender identity; in his words:
“I identify as 25, but my biology says 33. So, if you are miss-aging me, I'll get you banned… It's just a social construction being a certain age. Because math is socially constructed”.
However, Knut is suggesting that it was the chat that caused the majority of the problem.
On October 8th Twitch announced the suspension of their partnership with Knut Spildrejorde for 30 days.
It's also worth noting that this isn't Knut's first clash with Twitch as he was banned in September from attending TwitchCon 2019 due to a violation of Twitch's Events Code of Conduct.
Earlier this year, he was also temporally suspended from Twitch for streaming while driving.
This recent incident seems to follow a serious of interesting social media policy decisions relating to trans identity across many platforms. We're seeing that social platforms are, for some reason, taking the idea of trans identity and what is referred to as “misgendering” to be a severe violation of policy – resulting in longer bans – when other traditionally more severe violations such as showing one's genitals are resulting in shorter bans.
Here is Knut's statement in full:
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I would like to sincerely apologise to those that are uncomfortable with or offended by what happened on a recent stream of mine, and I would also like to clarify some things in light of that.
The team that sponsored my Costa Rica trip and I were playing some poker on stream at a hotel in San Jose as part of a tournament they had set up (also joined by Andy Milonakas). We had a lot of fun playing, and then I decided to see if I could find some women to join us at the table as spectators. I then walked around asking various hotel employees if they would like to do so, and they all politely declined as they were on duty working at the time, so, I ventured out of the hotel to see if I could find anyone else to ask to join the stream. The first people I ran into were two trans women that I had talked to the day before, and I asked if they would like to join us at the poker table. They asked to be paid US$20 each for their time.
Once we got to the hotel, we all sat down and had a bit of fun chatting. The two women stayed for about 20 minutes, I then paid them, and they thanked me and asked if I’d like them to stay a little longer. We then had a friendly parting of ways and I believe no harm at all was done unto any party involved.
My chat was not being moderated at the time, and I take full responsibility for that and regret that some of the comments made in the chat were unkind and insensitive. If you had watched the entire stream, or watch my streams in general, you’ll know that I frequently tell my chat to be kind to everyone I interact with, and that absolutely no harassment or hateful comments of any kind will be tolerated. Generally, my moderation team is fantastic and there are very few issues.
My intention that evening was to have a good time on stream and to create some good social content, it was most certainly not to exploit or single out these women for their profession nor for their gender. In hindsight, this was misguided and I should have foreseen how the situation might be perceived, and for that I apologize.
Let me say this, however, that I believe if I had said at the time that we should not include those women, or even ask them, simply because of their profession or gender identity, that the implication and perception of that effect would have certainly been worse and more exclusionary.
Immediately after my suspension I initiated an effort to widen the scope of my moderation team by bringing on a trans person as our newest moderator.
Again, I apologise to anyone I might have offended, as well as to Twitch staff.
Love you all and I’ll see you soon!