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‘I’m used to this’: Twitch and Fortnite bans add to sex worker stigma debate

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Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, received a flurry of online criticism last week (beginning Monday August 22) after a former adult content creator was reportedly banned from streaming site Twitch after attempting to access a Fortnite event on the platform.

Last Thursday Adriana Chechick claimed that she was banned from accessing a Fortnite event on the game tournament platform Twitch Rivals. On Friday she was allegedly banned from Twitch, reportedly for showing herself wearing a translucent outfit on the platform. Chechick was reinstated on Twitch shortly afterwards.

The alleged bans resulted in a flurry of online criticism against Twitch and Epic Games, which were accused by some supporters of Chechick of discriminating against sex workers.

Speaking on Twitch about the initial Fortnite tournament blocking, she said: “I guess last night they decided to not approve me because of my adult work. Because of my past and my adult work, I’ve been bumped from it.”

Appearing close to tears, she added: “Epic Games didn’t approve of my background. But this is fine. I’m used to this, so that’s fine.”

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Nudity and sexually explicit content is not allowed on Twitch, which is largely known as a gaming streaming platform. “Sexually suggestive content or activities” are also not allowed, with exceptions including some education-related content.

Fortnite apologized to Chechick for her being blocked from last week’s tournament, tweeting: “We’re so sorry this happened. The request to @TwitchRivals was to work with you to remove adult references from your stream’s background due to our game’s rating. We have no issue with you participating in events or streaming Fortnite.”

One person who is unlikely to have her Twitch ban reversed so quickly is a woman who used the platform under the name Kimmikka.

She was banned from the platform last week for allegedly having sex while live-streaming. The footage, which went viral online, didn’t show nudity or anything particularly explicit, but it was clear what the formerly popular Twitch streamer and her partner were up to.

Read next: UK media watchdog targets OnlyFans, TikTok, Snapchat and Twitch with ‘robust’ age verification measures

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