Last week, a Twitch-partnered Runescape streamer known as Aus_Swag, was recorded during a Twitch stream making a phone call to a woman suffering from suicidal thoughts, only to tell her to ‘kill herself’:
In the clip above, Aus_Swag calls the woman in question and upon her answering the call, states bluntly that “I think you should just kill yourself honestly.” This statement prompts an uproar of laughter from both Aus_Swag and other users on the call.
The incident was quickly reported to Jagex, the parent company of the popular MMO Runescape, which Aus_Swag regularly played and featured on his Twitch channel. Jagex quickly took action and issued a statement declaring that Aus_Swag would be permanently banned from the game:
This morning we became aware that over the weekend a RuneScape player had live streamed himself calling a vulnerable individual who had admitted they were having suicidal thoughts, telling that person to kill themselves. The RuneScape player is not someone with whom Jagex has – or ever had – a business relationship but given the incredibly serious nature of the incident we have taken measures that make it clear such behaviour will not be tolerated.
As a result, the individual has had their RuneScape account permanently banned with immediate effect. Jagex is incredibly passionate about mental health and wellbeing, and we will continue to do all we can to help those in our community – and beyond – receive the support they need to overcome the mental health challenges they face in their day-to-day lives.
In the wake of this news, some fans were worried by Jagex’s actions. The incident took place during a stream on the Twitch platform, and no in-game communication occurred between Aus_Swag and the woman, yet the incident resulted in a ban from Runescape, an unrelated platform and service. Some even pointed to the publicly listed rules for Runescape, which make no mention of off-site conduct having ramifications on a user’s Runescape account, as evidence that Jagex was overstepping their boundaries by policing off-site player conduct.
Aus_Swag was also banned from Twitch due to his violation of the platform’s Community Guidelines regarding hateful conduct and harassment.
Following Jagex’s decision Aus_Swag tweeted an apology regarding his actions, along with a receipt for a $200 donation to beyondblue, an Australian non-profit organization which addresses issues related to depression, suicide, and anxiety disorders. He also claims that his microphone was muted when he made the offensive statement and that he did not intend to put her at risk:
Im Sorry. pic.twitter.com/HZ9Kt3FJQ0
— Aus Swag (@SwagAus) January 21, 2019
Aus_Swag also uploaded a video to his channel which features a call between Aus_Swag and the woman he had initially insulted, wherein she states that she did not hear him say the phrase:
What do you make of Jagex’s decision to ban him for his comments made on Twitch?