HelenaLive, a popular Twitch-partnered streamer who formerly had over 300,000 followers and 10 million views, recently discovered that she had been banned from Twitch and that her channel had been closed. HelenaLive claims that Twitch took punitive action against her for stating that there were only two genders, due to the classification of that statement by Twitch staff as “offensive to the transgender community.”
On her Twitter account, HelenaLive posted the suspension notice sent to her by Twitch, which cites that she was suspended for “engaging in hateful conduct against a person or group of people”:
— helenalive (@HelenaLive96) February 4, 2019
In a three-hour live stream, now archived on her YouTube channel, HelenaLive discussed the circumstances around her ban, and detailed the supposedly offensive remark she made:
“This is why I got banned: I was saying on stream, that I think biologically, there’s two genders. I think there’s the woman, and the man. That’s what biology tells us. I specifically said ‘It’s okay if a man wants to be a woman and a woman wants to be a man; you cannot be anything in between. I said I supported the transgender community, I never said I didn’t.”
According to HelenaLive, after discovering her channel was banned, she reached out directly to Twitch for assistance in clarifying the situation and unbanning her account. Twitch provided a dismissive response, telling HelenaLive that a third report of hateful comments against her, as well as her perceived hateful comments, would be the reason for her ban being upheld. She posted the messages to her Instagram story, and saved the story to her profile for archived viewing:
Hey there Helena,
Unfortunately I’ve been informed about one of your recent actions that has been against our community guidelines.
Since this is the third time you are reported for hateful conduct in the last two months, we will be moving forward with terminating your partnership this time.
I’m aware you will receive more detailed information about the case, but as a context:
Your recent behaviour has proven your lack of understanding of what hateful speech is and how it may affect your community or your channel. Several of your statements have been found offensive towards the transgender community and we don’t tolerate this kind of behaviour.
I would advise you to study our TOS and community guidelines once again in details [sp].
The content which previously provided strikes against her channel was not detailed by HelenaLive.
HelenaLive would then respond, asking desperately for a chance to speak to a human being, rather than an automated system, so that she could explain her side of the story:
I understand. I need to talk to a human being about this stuff. Recently I have been trying my absolute hardest to change which is why I am not streaming as often after the fact. I dont [sp] want the content I chose and I am not a bad person I just want to stream and play dota thats [sp] all i wanted ideally I had trouble knowing whats [sp] funny and what isn’t and for that I am sorry. I am willing to make as many videos or posts as you want me to explaining it I just need a human being yo ve avle to talk to.
I have never said anything that I did not disclose was for comedy I have 5 transgender people Active in my community as well as tons of people from the entire LGBTQ. I have conversations and countless exchanges with all of them and I have evidence and proof to back everything up. I have never in my life been sexist.
I am rather dumb because I speak a lot without thinking sometimes I am trying to fix that I am I have some disorder and I’ [sp] trying to figure it out not that I am blaming anything I do on that.
I am willing to pay money to talk to a staff member I have been begging to be able to ask questions to a human and I really hope I get to do that at least once this year.
I have taken everything the banned was issued for into consideration and once again I stated on my stream that i am a supporter of transgender people and the community I said it at least 5 times throughout my ‘there are only 2 biological genders’.
I have a community of people that will back this statement up as it was being debated on my discord.
It’s unfair to exclude social commentary but at the end of the day this is my job and I’m done with that. If you are willing to give me one last chance to be able to prove this to you I will not disappoint you. I have my content and I am trying to calm down as a person.
I am sorry if I have offended anyone but once again I make it clear that it’s never my intention.
Following this initial message from HelenaLive, the streamer would be met with 24 hours of silence, causing her to send follow-up messages further asking for assistance or to speak with a representative. Twitch would eventually respond:
Hello again Helena,
First of all, please calm down.
I understand your concerns and I understand you are willing to make a chance. Unfortunately, the last chance is already gone since you have been banned several times earlier and warned that way that the behaviour your [sp] are showing is unfortunately not the type of content we can let live on Twitch.
At Twitch we analyse every report 1 by 1. This literally means that we check out every report personally so there is no point /n o way for someone to go ahead and report content creator without actually having that person do something against our guidelines. If that would happen, after checking the content we would just leave everything intact since there was no reason for us to act upon a non valid report. It is really important to us to have a community that can trust, encourage and support each other. In order to help this happen and to make sure we are in a space where one can thrive, we have to follow certain rules and guidelines that were formed throughout the history of Twitch.
I’m very sorry we had to come to this decision, but there is no turning back from this point and we have finalized the process.
We hope we can all look back one day and learn and grown [sp] from this.
We wish you all the best in the future!
By Twitch’s and her own admission, it is apparent HelenaLive has had issues regarding her content in the past. According to her, there were no other instances of content in her recent streams that could be misconstrued as offensive, save her statement regarding two genders.
On February 6th, Helena posted her as-of-writing final thoughts regarding the situation to her Twitter:
— helenalive (@HelenaLive96) February 7, 2019