Olivia R. February 17, 2019
Popular Overwatch streamer Fareeha Andersen is already back on Twitch after causing some controversy that the streaming service labeled as “hate speech.”
Twitch had initially banned Fareeha’s account for 30 days after she called South American Overwatch players “shit” during a February 7 stream. After a public outcry and an ensuing apology by Fareeha, Twitch lessened the length of the ban, allowing her back on the platform after just seven days.
While most following the news seemed to feel the ban was overly harsh, there were also people within the streaming community that felt the initial 30-day ban was justified, noting that popular streamers who have a larger audience should strive to be positive influences.
After initially receiving the ban for “engaging in hateful conduct against a person or group of people,” Fareeha took to Twitter to apologize for “fucking up.”
The Overwatch streamer went on to say that she understood what it feels like to be “cast aside under generalizations and assumptions” as a minority herself.
The controversial comment was made by Fareeha as a joke during a facetious pep talk, she explained, when her North American teammates kept complaining about the South American servers having horrible ping. She explained that she meant no hate towards South Americans, and was more commenting on how South America is “less cutthroat” when it comes to competitive gaming due to having less of a player base and not as much support for esports.
The clip of Fareeha calling South American players “shit” went viral almost immediately, and Fareeha was bombarded with hateful and sexist comments in response. Fareeha responded in kind, leading some to brand her with the “toxic” label.
In a Twitlong, Fareeha opened up about “mental shit” she has been going through, which seemed to become worse for her with “all this added pressure and extra eyeballs.” She noted that she has been putting a lot of work into becoming more aware of her behavior and was willing to own up to her mistakes.
Though her 30-day ban was lifted, it’s still unclear if the accompanying strike was removed from her Twitch account.