Twitch’s ‘do not ban’ list highlights special treatment of platform’s prominent creators

While it may not be used today, the 'do not ban' list sheds light on how not all streamers were equal.

Image via Twitch

Twitch suffered the biggest data breach in its history earlier this month and while streamer incomes may have been the most publicized and popular information revealed in the breach, one of the more obscure, but important features was a “do not ban” list.

Amongst data in the breach was evidence that some Twitch partners had their channels flagged to let staff members know that instead of suspending these users, any issues should be raised with a specific employee at Twitch for review.

This information backed up long-time theories by Twitch viewers and other streamers that the platform implemented favoritism when handing out suspensions to streamers, and it did so in an undeniable way with a paper trail proving as such.

In a report, The Washington Post investigated the “do not ban” list further by speaking to former Twitch staffers who revealed details of how it worked and the current status of the list.

According to the Post’s sources, the list included in the leak was more than five years old. They also shared that it was used together with Twitch’s former internal management tool, Better Desk, which has been out of us for years.

“It was a way to quickly put a banner up to the admins on duty so they wouldn’t just blindly ban another admin or prominent staff for something dumb,” said an anonymous Twitch staffer to the Post.

Another former staff member explained that the list wasn’t simply a do not ban list, but rather explained explicit terms and leniencies in place for specific creators.

Along with these different leniencies for specific partners, other creators’ notes on the list seemingly offered ways for some streamers to break the rules without consequence.

“RiceGum got partnership removed way back in the day, but Twitch refused to ban him outright because he got viewership,” said a former Twitch staff member. “So even though he wasn’t a partner, he was treated like one and given partner outreach when he broke the rules instead of being suspended by the admin team.”

“I do remember RiceGum and Tyler1 both being given way more grace than they should have been,” the former Twitch employee said. “And if one of us admins reported them anyway, we were told to kick rocks and pay attention to the do not ban list… It wasn’t quite a ‘get out of jail free’ card, but there were clearly some streamers who got treated with more chances or abilities than others.”

While this leak may have seemingly provided insight into clear favoritism that took place on Twitch in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean the behavior is still taking place in the same form today as the “do not ban” list no longer exists.

That said, favoritism is still likely playing a part on the streaming platform today, as one of the Washington Post’s anonymous sources suggests even without a list.