What happened with Atrioc and the deepfake controversy he was embroiled in? (Image via Atrioc/Twitch)

What happened to Atrioc? The entire streamer deepfake debacle summarized

Brandon “Atrioc” found himself in the middle of a great deal of controversy recently. During a stream on January 26, 2023, the content creator and co-founder of OFFBRAND was caught with a tab on his browser that featured deepfakes of popular streamers. The link in question featured popular and well-known creators such as Maya Higa, Pokimane, QTCinderella, and many more.

It led to a significant amount of backlash aimed at Atrioc, who remained at the center of the controversy for several more days. It was followed by an apology that also featured his wife sitting in, and the streamer ultimately stepping down from his responsibilities so he could combat the deepfake-pornography epidemic.


From beginning to end, here is what took place surrounding Twitch streamer Atrioc.

The Atrioc deepfake controversy explained

A clip from Atrioc’s January 26, 2023 stream made the rounds shortly after it took place, thanks to the streamer tabbing away from his game. Enterprising viewers noticed the content of his browser, which contained deepfake pornography.


In particular, viewers noticed it’s a website where people have to pay to view deepfakes of well-known streamers such as Pokimane and QTCinderella. At first, Atrioc made no mention of the tab, until it caught fire on the internet. Others, like Valkyrae, brought up the deepfake controversy the next day.

Streamers and fans alike found themselves disgusted by the revelation. In particular, QTCinderella took to the internet to speak her mind. The streamer broke down after seeing that deepfakes exist in the first place, but also being in Atrioc’s livestream. She also stated that she had all intentions of suing the person who created it.

(Clip begins at 00:00:24)

"I wanted to go live because this is what pain looks like. This is what it looks like! Okay? This is what it looks like. F**k the f***king internet. F**k the constant exploitation and objectification of women, it's exhausting. It's exhausting!"

She further condemned Atrioc for "showing" the website to his audience:

"F**k Atrioc for showing it to thousands of people. F**k the people DMing me pictures of myself from that website. F**k you all! This is what it looks like. This is what the pain looks like. Okay?"

QTCinderella’s boyfriend, Ludwig clarified that he didn’t want to be seen as defending Atrioc, but hoped that this one major screwup from the streamer was enough to set him on the right path.

"I think he f**ked up but sometimes, like, that's enough. One f**k up is enough. I just hope, from here, he just takes all the steps, all the actions to make it better."

In HasanAbi’s clip, he specifically mentioned Atroic’s deepfakes being “weird and gross,” but also mentioned Ethan Klein. The content creator mocked deepfakes, and specifically, QTCinderella’s reaction to the situation. He has, however, apologized for his actions since then.

“Ethan did something, very wrong, Atrioc did something very f**king weird and gross, both are indefensible. You know? There’s no perspective I have on this, and also, the website should be shut down, and in general, deepfakes should not exist.”

Deepfakes aren’t a new phenomenon on the internet, but having such a popular streamer openly display them, even if by accident, became a viral talking point across the web. Many condemned him for spending his money to view deepfakes of other streamers, many of whom were likely friends with the Twitch streamer beforehand.

The apology and aftermath of the deepfake controversy


(Clip starts at 3:30)

On January 30, 2023, Atrioc took to Twitch again, with his wife sitting beside him. It was a 14-minute stream, where he condemned the deepfakes, calling it both “disgusting and wrong”.

The streamer talked about how he didn’t tolerate this sort of behavior from his audience and didn’t make insensitive jokes about women. He stated he wanted women to feel safer on Twitch.

"At 2 am, you know, I've been watching so much f***king... I've been reading so much f***king AI stuff. I've been reading all this f***king stuff about AI and f***king... deepfake music, deepfake art, and everything. And I'm in these Discords."

The streamer stated that one night he clicked on ad that took him to the deepfake website in question, saying he was just on a regular adult video website. However, the ads for deepfakes were on every video he saw, and ultimately he found himself there. This all came, the streamer stated, from an interest in AI art and music, and that likely led to him seeing so many ads for it on the adult website.

"It's gross and I'm sorry. I really am. I really f***king am."

Atrioc apologized, ending the stream, and later posted a further apology on Twitter. Through the Twitlonger, he apologized to the women that were harmed by the deepfakes, such as Maya Higa and Pokimane.

“First and foremost I want to specifically apologize to Maya and Pokimane. You were both in the screenshot that spread around the internet. Your names were dragged into it and you were sexualized against your will."

He further added:

"You have both succeeded in this industry in spite of all the blatant unfounded sexist attempts to hurt or assassinate your character in a male dominated space.”

The streamer added that he was just another man on the list of people who had sexualized them against their will, and planned on taking concrete action to douse the “wildfire” his actions started.

According to Atrioc, the website was taken down, alongside QT and Ryan Morrison’s law firm. The content creator also said he would cover the financial cost of that takedown, and any legal fees for the women affected by the deepfake website.

@Atrioc Not commenting on, condoning, nor supporting any actions of the incident whatsoever, but my thoughts with you and your efforts on this fight to make things right my dude. I believe in your goodness

With that in mind, the streamer also stepped down from OFFBRAND to focus on fighting the spread of deepfakes across the internet. He also had a message for anyone that tried to support him or say that what he did wasn’t wrong.

“Lastly, to anyone who has expressed the sentiment of "support" that what I did wasn't wrong, or that I shouldn't apologize- F**k you. Sincerely. I do not want your support, I do not stand with you.”

Reactions to Atrioc's apology

His apology was met with mixed responses, however. Quite a few people refused to accept it, and labeled him part of the problem as he had spent money on these deepfakes. Others, however, appreciated that he put effort into helping take the website down.

Stfu you paid for it. You contributed to the problem. You are a freak and I hope you never have any female friends ever again. You would’ve continued if you hadn’t gotten caught and that’s obvious. Disgusting pervert. twitter.com/Atrioc/status/…
People like him are the reason I don't let my siblings on social media. How are people forgiving him so easily and quickly? It's good he's apologized but honestly, what happened was disgusting and he shouldn't be forgiven until, an actual change for the ppl he hurt is made. twitter.com/Atrioc/status/…
this isn’t saying a slur online bud this is something that will most likely have legislation made to protect people such as the ones you victimized in the coming decade. horrible twitter.com/Atrioc/status/…
this 'apology' is nothing but at LEAST you take some sort of accountability for what happened, and called out the weirdos that continue to support your actions.

many people and i don't accept this though. twitter.com/Atrioc/status/…

Atrioc said he would take time away from the internet, and that he would not be seen for some time. There were also, of course, replies and quote retweets that supported the streamer, deciding that there was nothing wrong with his actions.

The Atrioc deepfake controversy continues to be discussed, but the streamer has yet to appear after his apology, both on Twitch and Twitter.

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Edited by
Abu Amjad Khan
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