Facepunch Studios producer Alistair McFarlane has confirmed the Rust team are in contact with Twitch after they banned streamer WillNeff for interacting with a permabanned streamer on the OfflineTV server.
Twitch viewers were surprised when popular streamer WillNeff was banned for three days for interacting with YouTuber Austin ‘Mr Wobbles’ O’Brien on the OfflineTV Rust server.
O’Brien was banned permanently from Twitch three years ago after he threatened to dox someone whom he alleges was harassing him, meaning that, by interacting with him, Neff was violating Twitch’s TOS for “aiding account suspension evasion”.
There was major backlash from within the community, as popular streamers including Esfand and Malena criticized Twitch’s decision. Neff has urged fans not to harass Twitch staff as he waits for the three-day suspension to be lifted.
Hey just so there is no confusion I was ban for “aiding account suspension evasion” most likely because I was chilling with @mrwobblesmusic. When I heard @cyr had been given a warning I muted stream when I spoke with @mrwobblesmusic today but apparently that was not sufficient.
— Will Neff (@TheWillNeff) July 17, 2021
But now Rust’s developers are taking action. Facepunch Studios producer Alistair McFarlane explained that his team was in contact with Twitch, and slammed the decision to ban him as “ridiculous”.
“The action taken is extremely inconsistent and targeted,” he said.
McFarlane also explained that Facepunch will not be turning Neff’s dedicated Rust skin drop – which can be obtained by watching Rust streams – into a generic drop.
He added: “His ban is only for 3 days, he has provided some of the most memorable and entertaining moments on the server. He deserves any extra visibility Rust Twitch drops brings to his channel.”
For those who are asking, @TheWillNeff Rust Twitch drop will NOT be moved to a generic drop.
His ban is only for 3 days, he has provided some of the most memorable and entertaining moments on the server. He deserves any extra visibility Rust Twitch drops brings to his channel.
— Alistair McFarlane (@Alistair_McF) July 17, 2021
The affair has caused quite a stir in the Twitch community, with Neff’s fellow streamer Vincent Cyr picking up a warning from Twitch for his interactions with O’Brien.
O’Brien himself uploaded a tearful apology video, where he explained that he will no longer be going on the server to avoid potential ramifications for other Twitch streamers who may interact with him.
It remains to be seen whether McFarlane’s actions will prompt Twitch into changing its policy, but there is also an appetite on Neff’s side to explore how Twitch handles these types of bans.