Twitch may have bumped up against airport security over the weekend. A popular Twitch streamer named Paul “Ice_Poseidon” Denino was banned from the livestreaming service after a “swatting” incident at a Phoenix airport last Friday. He was using Twitch’s relatively new IRL category, telling everyone exactly where he was, and someone called in a bomb threat in his name.
Denino believes he’s being treated unfairly, and going by his subreddit, his fans agree with him. They’re currently upvoting a number of inappropriate images (such as this one of Hitler) to get them to show up in Google searches of Twitch. And perhaps he was. But I think the story is a little different from Twitch’s perspective.
I’ve combed the Terms of Service, and I can’t find anything that Ice_Poseidon violated specifically, but the rules do state that Twitch users will not:
…use the Twitch Services for any illegal purpose, or in violation of any local, state, national, or international law or regulation, including, without limitation, laws governing intellectual property and other proprietary rights, data protection and privacy. (emphasis mine)
Could Denino have somehow violated airport security by streaming there? I checked the codes for Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport, and the city’s code allows noncommercial expressive activity “providing such activities do not result in impairing or interfering with the operational functions of the airports.” It’s not much of a stretch for “recklessly disclosing your location to a large audience with a history of harassing and threatening you (he’s been swatted before)” to be read as “interfering.”
Also, Denino is (was?) a partnered Twitch streamer, meaning he earns money when someone subs to his channel. It could be that his stream was therefore in violation of the airport’s rules banning commercial filming in restricted areas.
While it’s not great that he had to deal with the headache of swatting — and there’s a depressing deadpan to his declaration “I’ve been swatted before” — I think it’s a case of so-called IRL streaming running counter to actual real life. Maybe this will establish firmer rules of exactly when and where it’s not in everyone’s best interests to have live video streaming.