Twitch offers a multitude of ways viewers can contribute to their favorite streamers, including subscriptions, donations, and bits. Bits have recently come under scrutiny after a massive money-laundering scheme using the micro currency exclusive to Twitch was discovered by Turkish police.
On Feb. 3, Minecrafter streamer Verloren stated he attempted to report potentially fraudulent donations made to his channel via bit donations. The donation reportedly took place off-stream, as a user donated 120,000 bits, equally to $1,200 USD. Verloren wrote, “I made a support ticket requesting they freeze my account to ensure that donation was legitimate… I didn’t want to spend money that would be eventually charged back.”
In an email chain with Twitch support, the streaming platform claimed to have set Verloren’s channel back to normal, as payments were unfrozen and the fraudulent payout was removed. The Minecraft streamer’s suspensions arose however whenever he noticed that the channel’s gifted subscription and bit leaderboards were missing.
In a follow-up email, Twitch support removed users’ ability to donate bits to his channel and terminated Verloren’s eligibility for the bits system. The email said that the channel had been flagged for activity that violated Twitch’s terms of service, reiterating that “Twitch reserves the right to terminate access to products at any time.”
Many have been critical of Twitch’s response to Verloren, claiming that this behavior would only reduce the number of reports for fraudulent activity. Twitch has yet to respond to the situation, though the streaming platform rarely gives out responses to bans or suspensions. Though it may be unlikely that Twitch clarifies its actions, Verloren and his viewers hope for an overturn.