Could Dr. Disrespect Fans Sue Twitch Over His Ban?
The Dr. Disrespect ban saga continues to roll along with no new comments from Doc or Twitch in weeks. But a new ruling in a court case against the web service Patreon has created a path that Dr. Disrespect fans could pursue against Twitch over his ban.
If you need to get caught up on who Dr. Disrespect is, what he does, why he matters, or the start of the Twitch Ban saga, you can check it all out here.
But the basics are that Doc was the "Face of Twitch", one of their biggest names, most viewed streamers, and an exclusive contract streamer. The move itself was shocking, but more shocking than a platform banning their biggest name is the fact that Twitch has yet to say why Doc was banned.
The fact that Twitch has left Doc, and his entire fan base without reason, has sent continued ripples of shock waves through the online video game streaming community. Many streamers have found themselves questioning if working with Twitch is a good idea for them, since Twitch appears to be able to ban anyone, any time, without reason.
Fans have also dealt some backlash towards Twitch. In the first month since Dr. Disrespect was banned, the platform suffered MAJOR losses in viewed hours...
While Doc produced less than 1 million hours a month, the platform lost 100 million hours last month. Which would indicate that a larger boycott effort was likely taking place. Fans would likely rather watch Youtube or Facebook than a platform who appears to have turned their back on the viewers.
But now a new court ruling could provide the fans of Dr. Disrespect who have supported him in the past a way to hurt Twitch further.
The fine folks at Hoeg Law have a new video in the Virtual Legality series that lays it all out, and you can scroll down to see that. But the brief explanation is that Patreon banned one of their users. The subscribers of that user then moved to take Patreon to individual arbitrations based on the Patreon terms of service. But the laws over arbitration in consumer cases in California protect the customer through forcing the issuer of the terms of service (Patreon or Twitch) to cover the up front costs of arbitration. So if 50, 75, 100, or more subscribers all file arbitrations against Patreon or Twitch, the two companies will have to pay the up front costs on each of those cases, which could be tens-of-thousands of dollars each. Meaning it could potentially cost Patreon or Twitch $500,000 or more in arbitrations. The laws in California also prevent the companies from trying to put those costs back onto the subscribers.
That was a lot of words, but this video explains it much better than that...
So, could the fans of Dr. Disrespect actually be the once to help save him? It's very possible based on this ruling. It would only take a few hundred subscribers to make a large enough monetary cost for Twitch to get them to move. Whether that's releasing information on their decision, or letting Dr. Disrespect return to the platform, there's now a way to get something to happen.