Blizzard is still in hot water over the suspension of the Hearthstone player, Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai. Things are not getting better for the company. It seems like every day there is more bad news surrounding Blizzard.
This time it seems as though Blizzard is banning viewers on their Hearthstone channel on Twitch. The reason for the bans appear to be viewers expressing pro-China statements in chat.
Blizzard denies banning anyone for pro-China sentiments. In a statement to Polygon, Blizzard said,
We are not banning people from Twitch chat for specifically using pro Hong Kong speech or any other political statements. Bans are being levied by an automated moderating system that’s triggered by viewers spamming any phrase repeatedly. We expect to have the issue corrected in the next few hours.”
This could possibly be true. The Hearthstone channel uses Moobot, a free moderating tool for Twitch. It can be set to trigger warnings or bans to viewers who violate channel rules.
On the other hand, Reddit user, Please_no_copy shared a screenshot of them getting a 24-hour ban from the Hearthstone chat for saying, “Free Hong Kong.” In the screenshot, it does not appear that the statement was spammed. Please_no_copy was not banned from the channel altogether, only the chat.
While Blizzard’s explanation is plausible, viewers are reporting differently. No matter which way it’s happening, it’s keeping blizzard in the hot seat and that is not a good look for the company.