- Dr Disrespect, previously one of the most famous streamers on Twitch, spoke out for the first time since he was abruptly banned from the platform permanently last month.
- In several interviews on Thursday, he addressed what has been going on since the move, but insisted he still does not know why he was banned and has never been told.
- While he was tight-lipped about his next steps, he did say he has a number of plans in the works but does not want an exclusive streaming deal and has not committed to a platform or service.
Dr Disrespect Speaks Out
In a series of interviews on Thursday, popular former Twitch streamer Dr Disrespect spoke publically for the first time since being permanently banned from the platform nearly three weeks ago.
Guy Beahm, known online as Dr Disrespect was one of the biggest streamers on Twitch with over 4 million followers and had recently signed an exclusive multi-year extension deal to keep streaming on the platform in March.
However, on June 26, it was reported that the prominent streamer had been permanently banned from Twitch. Twitch, for its part, did not confirm the ban but responded with a vague statement to the media.
“As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service,” the company’s statement read. “These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”
The next day, Dr Disrespect seemed to confirm the rumors in a tweet to his followers, known as the Champions Club.
“Champions Club, Twitch has not notified me on the specific reason behind their decision,” he wrote. “Firm handshakes to all for the support during this difficult time.”
After that, he did not say or post anything for three weeks. Now, Dr Disrespect has finally broken his silence, first giving an interview to the Washington Post and then PC Gamer before speaking to a few other outlets.
Questions About Twitch Ban
While Dr Disrespect did provide some insight into what he has been doing since the ban in the interviews, he did not speak to the reasoning behind it. Though that, at least in part, appears to be for legal reasons.
According to the Post, when asked about the subject, “he frequently followed advice from his legal counsel to remain silent.” When pressed on the matter in the interview with PC Gamer, which published the full transcript of the conversation, he was interrupted by his publicist, who redirected the question.
However, aside from legal reasons, the streamer also did not provide many answers about what prompted the ban because he still does not seem to know those answers himself.
“Honestly, we just don’t know,” he told the Post. “It was a total shock. Imagine showing up to work and the doors are closed and you can’t get inside. You’re going, ‘What’s going on?’ And you’ve been told you’ve been fired. But you haven’t been told the reason why. We just weren’t given an answer. … It was the worst feeling.”
“I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety,” he added. “You know, my wife and I both, this is our livelihood. We worked really hard to get to this point. … Let’s just say I’ve felt all of the emotions that you could possibly feel.”
Notably, in both the interviews with the Post and PC Gamer, Dr Disrespect did address some of the theories around his ban and his last stream. Both noted that there has been a lot of speculation around his final steam, where at the very end he breaks character and becomes very serious.
“Life’s weird right now, I— We’ll, we’ll get through this, okay? And uh— Fuck,” he said, before cutting the stream.
As a result, many fans theorized that he had just found out about the ban. However, Dr Disrespect told both the Post and PC Gamer that the remarks had nothing to do with his ban and that he was just talking about the state of the world.
In reality, Dr Disrespect explained, he first learned about the ban when he was watching a friend’s stream and noticed that some of his creator features were missing. He sent an email to Twitch, which he said responded by telling him he was banned, but never explained the reason why.
Both outlets also talked about the fact that Dr Disrespect has been the subject of several controversies.
Those included offensive jokes he has made in the past, and an incident where he walked into a public men’s bathroom while live streaming at the 2019 E3 gaming convention, which ultimately resulted in him being suspended temporarily from Twitch.
“I’ve been very transparent with those around me and my community,” he told the Post. “If anybody knows the Doctor and who I am, you know, I’ve stepped up and taken full responsibility each and every time. And I’ve learned from those mistakes.”
In more current examples, PC Gamer also pointed to the fact that he has recently had discussions about the coronavirus and conspiracy theories linking it to 5G. In his final stream, he also talked about David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who was recently kicked off both YouTube and Twitter for spreading conspiracies and anti-Semitic claims.
When asked if those incidents ever resulted in Twitch warning him or saying anything, Dr Disrespect said they had not. PC Gamer followed up by asking if he thought it was the reason for his ban, to which he responded, “I don’t think so. In fact, I—” but he was cut off by his publicist, who warned him that they were “getting really close to dangerous territory here.”
PC Gamer also noted that Twitch has recently been banning a lot of people who have been accused of sexual harassment and other toxic behavior, and asked Dr Disrespected whether he knew if his ban might have been the result of similar allegations.
“Listen, I’m not interested in engaging crazy speculation,” he answered. “I’ve seen all the theories, I’ve seen all the possible conspiracies, and it’s just like, I’m just not interested in engaging that type of stuff. I have a great community of loyal fans and I’m totally focused on getting back and delivering great, entertaining content and that’s where the focus is.”
As for his next steps, Dr Disrespect was largely tight-lipped on that matter as well, though he did offer some insights and told PC Gamer that his relationship with Twitch was 100% over.
“Obviously, for legal counsel, I have to be careful here. But I can say however, that I will not be returning to Twitch, so, I mean, that’s it,” he said, adding that he is considering taking legal action against the platform.
He also told the publication that he is still trying to figure out exactly what his return will look like, and when asked if he is eyeing a specific platform, he said he was not.
“We’re just focused on the Doc’s return,” he said. “We haven’t made any decisions on platforms. We’re not interested in looking for an exclusive or any of that stuff. All the cards are on the table.”
PC Gamer noted that in a follow-up email after the interview, Dr Disrespect clarified that he is “considering streaming independently on his championsclub.gg website, in addition to other big options like YouTube and Facebook.”
Additionally, in both interviews, Dr Disrespect emphasized the importance of his community and doing what is right for them.
“We’re excited to take the next steps,” he told PC Gamer. “And I’m really focused on the community for now. We’ve got lots of fun stuff planned, lots of projects that are in the works.”
However, when asked about specifics, he responded, “You’re going to have to tune in to find out. That’s part of the fun. I think that’s one of Doc’s things is doing these cool projects and the big surprise elements that are involved. Whether it’s directly through the stream or a combination of social media and the stream but, fans should expect Doc 3.0.”
Though notably, he also did tell the Post that the TV development deal he had landed earlier with SkyBound Entertainment has not been affected by recent events.
“Listen, we’re gonna see,” he continued. “We’ve been working really hard. We’re ready to go. You know, we’re excited to take those next steps.”
Following the widespread coverage of his interviews, Dr Disrespect tweeted for the first time since June 27, sharing a non-descript video set to music.
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.
Twitch Blames Server Configuration Error for Hack, Says There’s No Indication That Login Info Leaked
The platform also said full credit card numbers were not reaped by hackers, as that data is stored externally.
Login and Credit Card Info Secure
Twitch released a security update late Wednesday claiming it had seen “no indication” that users’ login credentials were stolen by hackers who leaked the entire platform’s source code earlier in the day.
“Full credit card numbers are not stored by Twitch, so full credit card numbers were not exposed,” the company added in its announcement.
The leaked data, uploaded to 4chan, includes code related to the platform’s security tools, as well as exact totals of how much it has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
Early Thursday, Twitch also announced that it has now reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Streamers looking for their new keys can visit a dashboard set up by the platform, though users may need to manually update their software with the new key before being able to stream again depending on what kind of software they use.
As far as what led to the hackers being able to steal the data, Twitch blamed an error in a “server configuration change that was subsequently accessed by a malicious third party,” confirming that the leak was not the work of a current employee who used internal tools.
Will Users Go to Other Streaming Platforms?
While no major creators have said they are leaving Twitch for a different streaming platform because of the hack, many small users have either announced their intention to leave Twitch or have said they are considering such a move.
It’s unclear if the leak, coupled with other ongoing Twitch controversies, will ultimately lead to a significant user exodus, but there’s little doubt that other platforms are ready and willing to leverage this hack in the hopes of attracting new users.
At least one big-name streamer has already done as much, even if largely only presenting the idea as a playful jab rather than with serious intention.
“Pretty crazy day today,” YouTube’s Valkyrae said on a stream Wednesday while referencing a tweet she wrote earlier the day.
“YouTube is looking to sign more streamers,” that tweet reads.
“I mean, they are! … No shade to Twitch… Ah! Well…” Valkyrae said on stream before interrupting herself to note that she was not being paid by YouTube to make her comments.
The Entirety of Twitch Has Been Leaked Online, Including How Much Top Creators Earn
The data dump, which could be useful for some of Twitch’s biggest competitors, could signify one of the most encompassing platform leaks ever.
Massive Collection of Data Leaked
Twitch’s full source code was uploaded to 4chan Wednesday morning after it was obtained by hackers.
Among the 125 GB of stolen data is information revealing that Amazon, which owns Twitch, has at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library. That library, codenamed Vapor, would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
With Amazon being the all-encompassing giant that it is, it’s not too surprising that it would try to develop a Steam rival, but it’s eyecatching news nonetheless considering how much the release of Vapor could shake up the market.
The leaked data also showcased exactly how much Twitch has paid its creators, including the platform’s top accounts, such as the group CriticalRole, as well as steamers xQcOW, Tfue, Ludwig, Moistcr1tikal, Shroud, HasanAbi, Sykkuno, Pokimane, Ninja, and Amouranth.
These figures only represent payouts directly from Twitch. Each creator mentioned has made additional money through donations, sponsorships, and other off-platform ventures. Sill, the information could be massively useful for competitors like YouTube Gaming, which is shelling out big bucks to ink deals with creators.
Data related to Twitch’s internal security tools, as well as code related to software development kits and its use of Amazon Web Services, was also released with the hack. In fact, so much data was made public that it could constitute one of the most encompassing platform dumps ever.
Streamer CDawgVA, who has just under 500,000 subscribers on Twitch, tweeted about the severity of the data breach on Wednesday.
“I feel like calling what Twitch just experienced as “leak” is similar to me shitting myself in public and trying to call it a minor inconvenience,” he wrote. “It really doesn’t do the situation justice.”
Despite that, many of the platform’s top streamers have been quite casual about the situation.
“Hey, @twitch EXPLAIN?”xQc tweeted. Amouranth replied with a laughing emoji and the text, “This is our version of the Pandora papers.”
Meanwhile, Pokimane tweeted, “at least people can’t over-exaggerate me ‘making millions a month off my viewers’ anymore.”
Others, such as Moistcr1tikal and HasanAbi argued that their Twitch earning are already public information given that they can be easily determined with simple calculations.
Could More Data Come Out?
This may not be the end of the leak, which was labeled as “part one.” If true, there’s no reason to think that the leakers wouldn’t publish a part two.
For example, they don’t seem to be too fond of Twitch and said they hope this data dump “foster[s] more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space.”
They added that the platform is a “disgusting toxic cesspool” and included the hashtag #DoBetterTwitch, which has been used in recent weeks to drive boycotts against the platform as smaller creators protest the ease at which trolls can use bots to spam their chats with racist, sexist, and homophobic messages.
Still, this leak does appear to lack one notable set of data: password and address information of Twitch users.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the leakers don’t have it. It could just mean they are only currently interested in sharing Twitch’s big secrets.
Regardless, Twitch users and creators are being strongly urged to change their passwords as soon as possible and enable two-factor authentication.