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Twitch suspends trans streamers Ian Alexander & Keffals for responding to trolls

Ian Alexander
Ian Alexander Photo: Shutterstock

Two major transgender Twitch streamers got suspended from the platform this week for responding to trolls.

After separate mass reporting hate raids, Twitch swooped in to ban non-binary Star Trek: Discovery star Ian Alexander and trans streamer Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti from their Just Chatting channels for violating speech guidelines.

Twitch says the suspensions are temporary.

Keffals was the first victim of the organized online assault.

“My account got mass reported before I even started [a stream] and I am banned from Twitch,” Keffals tweeted on July 18. She was showing past examples of the hateful abuse she receives when she was shut down mid-stream.

“I’ll do the stream on YouTube instead. You can’t f**king stop me.”

On Thursday, Keffals’ appeal was rejected.

“Twitch banned one of their biggest transgender streamers from their website for openly talking about the abuse they receive,” she wrote on Twitter. “I do not understand how they managed to fuck up so badly.”

Two days later, Alexander suffered the same mass reporting assault and suspension.

Twitch “suspended my account,” the actor announced on Twitter July 20. “I was receiving racist and transphobic troll comments where they were saying slurs. I censored them, told the trolls to touch some grass, and then my account got suspended mid-stream.”

“Touch grass,” for non-gamers, means “get outside” or “get a life.”

Twitch characterized the comment as  “violent hate speech.”

“I appealed the suspension, idk when I’ll get my channel back,” Alexander posted.

According to the platform’s community guidelines, Twitch “does not permit behavior that is motivated by hatred, prejudice or intolerance, including behavior that promotes or encourages discrimination, denigration, harassment, or violence” against protected groups, which it defines as “a subset of the population with a shared protected characteristic.”

By late Thursday, Alexander had his channel back.

“Got my channel back and an apology from Twitch,” Alexander tweeted. “i’m still upset this happened but i appreciate the correction & apology.”

Alexander made a name for themself in 2016 as a transgender actor in a transgender role on the Netflix series OA. In 2020, they joined the cast of Star Trek: Discovery as the first transgender character in the Star Trek canon.

As of Thursday, Keffals was still shut out.

Keffals, who transitioned as a teenager, joined Twitch in 2020 for the video game streams but migrated to the Just Chatting category after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) launched his campaign against gender-affirming care for minors. She’s earned a huge following across social media platforms for her no-holds-barred clapbacks at transphobic critics and commentators and sharing her transgender experience in hours-long streams and videos.

On Tuesday, she tweeted she’d been previously “suspended on twitter after getting mass reported by fans of libs of tiktok. yesterday I got suspended from twitch after getting mass reported by transphobes. your support means a lot in helping me not get chased off the internet.”

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