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Twitch might be shadow banning VPN users from its chat feature

VPN users have complained of shadow bans (Image via Sportskeeda)
VPN users have complained of shadow bans (Image via Sportskeeda)
Matthew Wilkins

Twitch has recently come under fire from a founding member, Ben Goldhaber, who took to Twitter to express his unhappiness with recent developments.

The 'Purple Screen of Death' is a mandatory, non-skippable, 30-second interruption. The 'PSoD' is usually shown to users who watch Twitch streams not directly from Twitch.tv.

While this is a mere inconvenience to some viewers, for others, it could mean missing significant developments within the stream.

A few days ago, Twitch added another barrier to embeds, adding a disruptive message for users, asking them to "get the full experience" by continuing to watch on Twitch.

While the embeds and 'PSoD' issues may not give rise to an alarm, reports have been circulating that Twitch is supposedly shadow banning VPN users from its chat feature.


Is Twitch shadow banning VPN users?

There are quite a few reasons why some people prefer using VPNs on Twitch. Trolls are always on the prowl trying to circumvent account bans, and some users prefer using it to get around increasingly aggressive ads.

Furthermore, VPNs add an extra layer of security while enabling many users to access Twitch from countries where it's banned.

According to the Twitch community, VPN providers were shadow banned from chat, which resulted in people who use them being unable to send messages.

One VPN user commented:

"So, I recently noticed that none of my messages arrived in the chat of streamers. I could see the message myself, but when I checked on my phone, the message did not appear. I tried with three different VPNs, and it's the same on all of them."

Most people have claimed that using NordVPN and MullVadnetVPN automatically shadow bans people from all chat.

Users are still visibly confused as to why this has started happening all of a sudden.

However, the entire issue should be taken with a pinch of salt at this point in time. Without Twitch's official statement regarding the matter, nothing can be said for sure.

If Twitch is indeed banning the use of VPNs, many streamers who depend on sponsorship deals from these companies will lose out big time.


The verdict

Twitch seems to be off to a rocky start in 2021. First, a founding member declares that the platform is making "poor user experience" mandatory with the embeds and PSoD, and now, rumors about a shadow ban on VPN users are circulating.

As of February 2020, the platform had three million monthly broadcasters and 15 million daily active users. The platform recently celebrated the milestone of reaching 1 trillion minutes watched in 2020.

Despite the massive surge in popularity in just a few short years, users and developers are at wit's end with Twitch's staff response, which seems to be all too generic and unhelpful for the most part.

Hopefully, the Amazon-owned company will address the VPN, embed, and PSoD issues sooner rather than later.


Edited by Ravi Iyer

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