Perhaps one of the most disturbing stories to come out of the Fortnite content creator community recently was the arrest of Brazilian Twitch streamer Raulino de Oliveira Maciel, better known as RaulZito. The streamer was arrested by Rio de Janeiro police in late July for sexual predation of “child theater, film, and TV actors.” It was a tremendously heinous matter, but we only just recently saw Twitch and YouTube ban RaulZito, weeks after the first incidents were reported.
RaulZito’s recent Twitch ban was noted by automated Twitch streamer status tracker StreamerBans, as reported by Kotaku. According to StreamerBans, a ban was enacted on RaulZito by Twitch on August 12, 2021. That would be more than two weeks after reports of RaulZito’s arrest and the official police statement that coincided with it. While the police statement did not name Maciel directly, a video obtained by Brazilian site G1 that came out around the same time as the statement showed what appeared to be the streamer being taken away by police. Simultaneously, SBT games - which broadcasted RaulZito - stated that it had cut ties with him pending investigation.
It is difficult to say exactly when YouTube handed down its ban of RaulZito. However, Twitch’s ban very clearly came on August 12, more than two weeks after the arrest occurred and a multitude of evidence of the incident was made available. Twitch has been going through the wringer lately with a number of issues, not the least of which was the use of bots to flood Twitch streamer chat with racist comments. This has led the community to demand Twitch do better, for which the platform recently stated it would.
However, this might be considered another moment for the mounting pile of concerns. As Twitch promises to make the platform a safer place for its audiences and creators, it seems quite notable that it took as long as it did to take action against a creator it gave a platform to well after the incident which implicated them. It’s good that RaulZito continues to be removed from spaces in which they can harm others, but this seems like something we should have heard closer to weeks ago when it happened. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further details and Twitch for updates on its evolving policies regarding safety and harassment.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Twitch & YouTube ban Fortnite streamer RaulZito weeks after sexual assault arrest
I think we're quite a ways off from knowing how content platforms should properly react to real-world incidents like this. It seems like a straight forward no-brainer action>reaction in this case, but moderation in general is difficult and what sounds good on paper is often difficult in practice (more art than science). Should it be a suspension rather than a ban for an arrest? Who decides when to freeze vs remove content? Should we focus on handling quicker suspensions? What do we know about these platform's handling of this incident? How do we calculate ongoing harm if the account stays up or stays up but is frozen?
It's a practice that needs to be incrementally developed (and continuously) but each case to each platform is going to be unique. More so at different times/scales w/r/t the maturity of the platform and the state of the world.
Also, what channels are available for people to get educated and report questionable behavior before the arrest?
I'll have to look out for something from themarkup.org in this area.