Twitch Streamer Removed From Team Due to LGBTQIA+ Tag

Twitch
Streamers bond together under the LGBTQIA+ filter on Twitch to create a place for others to feel comfortable.

On May 20, 2019, Twitch streamer, Lylovir, went public with a situation where they were removed from a stream team after using an LGBTQIA+ tag on Twitch. Team Retro Craze owner and partnered streamer, ClChambers00, approached Lylovir and recited the team guidelines, describing the LGBTQIA+ tag as a non-gaming purpose. Their stream team guidelines and owner direct team members toward only what they consider gaming related content.

“We strongly encourage everyone to avoid controversial issues, sensitive subjects, or any non-gaming elements such as politics, religions, worldviews, etc.,” taken from a Team Retro Craze interest form.

Quick details regarding the whole situation:

  • Twitch streamer, Lylovir, removed from Team Retro Craze.
  • CLChambers00 claimed it was due to his use of the LGBTQIA+ tag on Twitch as it isn’t gaming related content.
  • Lylovir filed reports with Twitch and Discord without much luck. Receiving no response from Twitch.
  • Responses from both Lylovir and CLChambers00 on the situation are in the article.
  • At least two Twitch streamers confirmed leaving Team Retro Craze, one is a Co-Manager.

Update 6/5/2019:

CLChambers00 contacted us on June 1, with his official response/statement regarding the incident with Lylovir and why their team policy is the way it is. The full response is available here.

The response is more than double the size of this article, coming in at over 6,500 words. CLChambers00 asked himself 16 questions and responded to each with similar information already covered in this article through our questions. The response shows Team Retro Craze doubling down on their policy on prohibiting content they deem non-gaming related. However, CLChambers00 said in his response,

“At this time we are still working on rewriting our rules and policies in order to ensure that retro gaming which is already all-inclusive of everybody remains as such.”

Original Story:

Lylovir Contacted by CLChambers00

The situation unraveled on Twitter by Lylovir where he displayed the messages sent to him via Discord by CLChambers00. The first message recites a section of their guidelines, “Behavioral Expectations,” available in their Discord according to him. The recited portion varies slightly from their team interest form where it’s more specific as shown in the above quote.

Twitter Response

The second message sent is from CLChambers00’s perspective stating the use of the LGBT tag as a non-gaming purpose. He also goes on to describe it further, “promoting another streamer and describing them specifically as ‘Trans, political, variety streamer,'” is a non-gaming purpose. His reasoning for avoiding these labels is to “remain exclusively gaming related” and how it makes certain audiences uncomfortable when they see the tag.

Hearing From Lylovir

I spoke with Lylovir on Twitter about how his removal from the team made him feel,

“It was a series of emotions. Stunned, incredulous, confused, then angry. I reached out to a very supportive streamer’s community and received immediate support from them. The streamer even went so far as to tweet at-Twitch and at-TwitchSupport about it to preserve my anonymity at the time.

Afterwards, I felt quite dull. I stopped streaming as often as I had before.”

Lylovir Twitch Stream

Lylovir went on about how he almost withdrew from a speedrunning tournament for The Legend of Zelda after receiving those messages on April 6, 2019, “It was depressing.”

Lylovir sought help from Twitch and Discord shortly after Team Retro Craze removed him. He filed two reports with Twitch, one immediately after being removed from the stream team, and another earlier this month according to him. Each Twitch report has supposedly gone unanswered thus far.

Twitch Community Guidelines on Hateful Conduct

Twitch Logo

Twitch states in their Community Guidelines that hateful conduct is a zero-tolerance violation and any associated accounts will be indefinitely suspended. As shown below, any content or activity that promotes discrimination toward sexual orientation is a form of hateful conduct:

Hateful conduct is any content or activity that promotes, encourages, or facilitates discrimination, denigration, objectification, harassment, or violence based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, medical condition, physical characteristics, or veteran status, and is prohibited. Any hateful conduct is considered a zero-tolerance violation and all accounts associated with such conduct will be indefinitely suspended.”

The same section on hateful conduct from Twitch goes on to state, “We prohibit using Twitch to facilitate hateful conduct or harassment, whether the targets are on or off Twitch … We may take action against users for hateful conduct or harassment that occurs off Twitch services that is directed at Twitch users.”

If this situation is deemed as hateful conduct, it can lead to CLChambers00 being indefinitely suspended on Twitch despite being a partnered streamer on the platform. I reached out to fortyseven communications for a comment on the situation. They’re the public relations agency representing Twitch and they didn’t add context to the situation as they were unaware of it. Chris Kramer, vice president at fortyseven communications, directed me toward a more thorough section of the Twitch Community Guidelines on harassment.

Discord

Lylovir filed one report with Discord and received a boilerplate response they’re investigating the situation. Their first response to Lylovir was a basic email confirming his request for help and stating to respond with any further relevant information. A follow-up email afterward on April 10, 2019, stated,

“Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. I have initiated an investigation based on the information that you provided and we will take appropriate action based on our findings. Please note that for privacy reasons, we’re not able to share the specifics of the action taken, if any.”

The email then recommended Lylovir block the user and to speak to his server admin about the situation to moderate it. However, this situation took place over Discord’s private messaging feature, Direct Messaging. Therefore, there is no server admin under these circumstances.

It’s unknown whether Discord acted further or not due to their stance on it being private information. Lylovir hasn’t heard any further from Discord regarding the incident.

Discord Guidelines on Harassment

Discord’s guidelines are less specific than Twitch’s, however, they still state they don’t tolerate harassment. Depending on the severity of the case, users will have their content removed and a warning, or account deletion.

“Organizing and participating in raids or other forms of harassment. Do not engage in or post content encouraging the harassment of individuals or communities. If someone is harassing you or your community, be proactive and block them immediately.”

Discord has publicly acted against harassment and discrimination in the past as is the case in 2018 when they shut down several hateful servers. Polygon reported on Discord removing several specific Discord servers catering to alt-right and white nationalist communities. As reported by former Polygon entertainment reporter, Julia Alexander.

“No one should ever have to experience the hatred and violence that many LGBT+ people have experienced in their lives.”

Lylovir spoke more directly about CLChambers00’s message on how there are, “people on the other side who feel uncomfortable when they see this tag.” Lylovir said over Twitter direct messaging,

“Identity is not a detail that can be ignored when convenient to prevent uncomfortable situations. For members of the LGBTQIA+ community, this identifier is central to the definition of our identities, formed before we even knew there was a word for how we felt.

As a child, I remember nearly every incident where an adult expressed distaste, prejudice or outright disgust against effeminate men or trans people. They each have stuck with me, even now, more than 25 years later.

I also remember how relieving it was to find friends who knew what I was going through; to hear a male musician singing about his boyfriend, or female about her girlfriend. I vividly remember the first trans person I ever met in my hometown, and the pure hatred they experienced just by coming out.

I recognize that my specific situation is nowhere near as extreme as those faced by other members of this community. I may have been verbally harassed because my appearance and mannerisms weren’t masculine enough. However: I was never disowned or kicked out or cut off because of who I am, like many LGBT+ people. I was never assaulted or killed for dancing at the ‘wrong’ club or drinking at the ‘wrong’ bar, like many LGBT+ people. No one should ever have to experience the hatred and violence that many LGBT+ people have experienced in their lives.

By identifying a stream as LGBTQIA+, despite my channel being devoted primarily to retro gaming (and more recently Zelda 1 speedrunning), it shows people that I am providing a welcoming space for people who just might have experienced something like that.

Frankly, when it’s ALL of that against possibly offending someone or making them feel uncomfortable, it’s really not a difficult decision for me.”

Hearing From CLChambers00

I spoke with CLChambers00 over Twitter on May 22, 2019, where he responded about preparing an official response on behalf of Team Retro Craze. His current response is below,

“I am doing an official response on behalf of team Retro Craze. It should be released soon. I have remained relatively silent up to this point because I wanted everyone to know that I took my time to listen well and truly understand all the concerns that have been voiced, and I wanted to make sure my response was as helpful as possible. There is another side to this story despite how it has been characterize on social media, and I hope it will be received well.”

The next day, May 23, 2019, CLChambers00 reached out to me on Twitter with more information from his perspective. He shared the picture below where Lylovir responded, which wasn’t originally included in his tweet about the incident.

Twitter Response

CLChambers00 emphasized the end of his second message as an opportunity for Lylovir to discuss the rule further, “Near the end of my response I clearly state ‘Let me know’ and it was ultimately his decision. If he disagreed with the game-related only elements policy he could have offered a suggestion, or proposed rewording it, or even amending it. I was more than willing to discuss it further with him but he cleared stated that he did not want to be contacted again … He made it clear in his response that he was no longer wishing to remain associated with the team.

CLChambers00 continued without being asked any questions, talking about the situation as a whole. He compared the LGBT tag to an AMA tag and how he would have handled it the same way,

“The non-gaming related elements policy is not inherently anti-LGBT, if the tag was AMA, then I would have sent a similar message, and if I had I do not suspect that I would have been deemed as suppressing free speech. Every team has its own policies, such as Speedrunners Keeping it Real PG. I do suspect that a conversation would occur if one of their members was doing a Mature setting and presenting R rated content as to their speak and topics.”

His point of view is that he’d prefer to try and avoid controversial topics and focus on playing video games. However, in his attempt to do so, he’s excluding the LGBTQA+ community as shown with Lylovir. By telling Lylovir he can’t use the tag and continue on Team Retro Craze, it’s not giving him much of a decision. Despite stating the decision was on Lylovir whether he stayed with Team Retro Craze or not.

Another Streamer Leaves Team Retro Craze

CLChambers00 reiterated that their gaming only stance isn’t anti-LGBT. Although, multiple people affiliated with Team Retro Craze, including Lylovir, have severed ties with the team due to how this was handled. A community run stream focused on Resident Evil speedruns left Team Retro Craze afterward.

Streamer Raeanus left Team Retro Craze for his own reasons and then tweeted how he felt after they removed Lylovir from the team.

Team Retro Craze Co-Manager Leaves Team

Retro game speedrunner, Mannix86, agreed on Twitter that he was essentially a co-manager of the stream team. He released an apology via Pastebin on May 21, 2019. Alongside the apology, he also announced leaving Team Retro Craze after it, “created an unfair/unsafe/unacceptable environment for others.” His apology starts out as,

“As you all know, Retro Craze has always done its best to promote gaming related content. We do have a certain set of rules in place that we did our best to make sure the content was mainly game related. Nowadays Twitch is simply more than gaming, it’s also a place where people fully express themselves regardless what it’s about. It’s an environment where people feel the need to be safe and we at Retro Craze truly believed that the goal was to focus on gaming content for exactly that, that it would be an environment where people didn’t need to talk about the things that aches them the most in life, because IRL is hard as it is and it would be an escape.”

This shows another example of how the “Behavioral Expectations” set by Team Retro Craze may have done more harm than intended. It sounds as though their goal was to create a safe environment for everyone. But, in attempting to do so, they created a safe environment for only certain people.

CLChambers00 Final Response

CLChambers00 responded to two questions I asked on May 23, 2019, regarding their gaming only stance and another topic in the limelight. After repeatedly stating the team’s position isn’t “inherently anti-LGBT,” I asked, “Do you realize how it’s excluding members of that community by prohibiting that tag?”

He repeated previous information and that the team exists for a certain purpose. He used the stream team Speedrunners Keeping it Real PG as an example again.

The other topic around CLChambers00 is regarding him paying streamers $5 for each host over 50 viewers or more when he attempted to get partnered.  German streamer, TinnueLP, took to Twitter after hearing about Lylovir, and showed messages from CLChambers00 on the above deal. Streamer Junkyard_Dave also tweeted about receiving the same message.

Twitch Message

Team Retro Craze co-manager/admin, Mannix86, tweeted in response that he asked CLChambers00 about this and he denied it being true. However, the information is available on CLChambers00’s Twitter from June 2018 as shown below. The truth of that statement is questionable.

Paying Streamers for Hosts on Twitch

When asked about this arrangement with streamers, CLChambers00 responded directly to me about how it was a way to reciprocate for hosts and support other streamers. For those unaware, a host on Twitch is when another streamer makes their channel show someone else’s stream. This often happens after a streamer ends their stream and then sends their viewers to another channel; also known as raiding when performed this way. Part of his response is below,

“It is a common practice among streamers to support one another. When I received a 500 viewer host I usually reciprocate with my own support by making a donation the following day. There is nothing inherently wrong with mutual support among streamers … During the Summer a lot of people have financial goals for funding GDQ travel and other needs and it was fitting that I would reciprocate to people in the best manner that I could at the time.”

CLChambers00 stated this would be his final response and that a public announcement will still follow. He didn’t say when. To my personal knowledge, I don’t think there’s anything against doing this on Twitch. People may not agree with it and liken it to viewbotting or paying for views, but it’s not prohibited. Once again, to my knowledge.

Team Retro Craze Under Attack on Social Media

Streamers from Team Retro Craze alongside CLChambers00 have been under attack on social media and their streams since the incident began. Team Retro Craze streamer, DarthPlague, tweeted his support of the LGBTQ community after the situation first unraveled.

At the time of posting this article, the official response from CLChambers00 hasn’t been released yet. According to Lylovir, he last communicated with CLChambers00 on April 6, when the two Discord messages were sent.

We’ve reached out to Discord and another streamer for a comment. We’ll update the article with any responses and possible changes. If you have information regarding this story, Jeff can be contacted via jeff(at)slythergames.com.

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