Even if you haven’t heard of Twitch streamer and speedrunner Trihex, you’ve almost certainly seen him. He’s the face of the near-ubiquitous “Trihard” emote, a chat icon people use both in good fun and, unfortunately, to mock people of color. As of now, while the emote remains on Twitch, Trihex himself has been temporarily banned.
Over the weekend, Trihex’s Twitch channel got banned. While Twitch doesn’t comment on bans, Trihex allegedly drew Twitch’s ire when he called a friend who was in the same room as him a “faggot,” which is against Twitch’s rules. He was banned less than 24 hours later. After the banhammer fell, Trihex acknowledged his insensitive word choice in a post on Twitter.
“Last night, I said a word of derogatory nature,” he wrote on Saturday. “In my past, I frequented portions of the internet & chat rooms where such language was normalized. Since then, I understand that such word(s) is harmful and not okay. I apologize for my poor behavior and to anyone who is offended. I never intend to demean any person of marginalization.”
He also said that he plans to do everything in his power to “stop usage” of those words “myself as well as within my community.”
As of now, it’s uncertain how long he’ll remain banned, but other streamers have previously been exiled from Twitch for as many as 30 days for similar infractions, even when it was their first violation. Kotaku reached out to Trihex for more comment, but as of publishing, he’d yet to reply.
While some of Trihex’s fans have said they appreciate his frank apology, others feel like the ban isn’t entirely fair. They point to the fact that Trihex is a chill, generally kindhearted streamer who doesn’t walk the line in the same way as others who’ve been banned for slurs or other poor linguistic choices in the past. A vocal contingent has latched onto the case of another, much rowdier streamer named Reckful, who recently went on an extended rant about how, if somebody got in his face, he’d “hire ten people to kill your entire fucking family.” They’ve taken to questioning Twitch’s priorities, given that Trihex said an admittedly shitty word and apologized but remains banned, while Reckful has, thus far, suffered no consequences for making frightening threats.
This is far from the first time Twitch has received criticism for inconsistency in moderation, with users accusing the company of favoritism on a regular basis. Some of this thinking is conspiratorial, but in other cases, the roots of it, at least, are hard to ignore. Streamers like Ninja have received slaps on the wrist for language and actions that almost certainly would’ve incurred more severe consequences for other streamers. Twitch has also struggled to define and consistently enforce rules surrounding harassment and sexual content, which has led to female streamers receiving undue hate just for existing on the platform.
For now, though, Trihex is taking his ban in stride.
“I’m gonna use this time to reflect & reform,” he wrote. “See you all soon.”