Hasan Piker Banned From Twitch for Saying ‘Cracker’

The leftwing Twitch star has been temporarily banned from Twitch following a discussion where he used a word some believe to be an anti-white slur.
Hasan Piker at Work.
Image: Twitch screengrab.

There’s an out of control amount of racism on Twitch, but they’ve finally banned the most egregious of its perpetrators. Hasan Piker, left wing streamer, says that he was banned from Twitch for using the “anti-white” term “cracker”

On Twitch, Piker is a left wing provocateur. He spends hours every day talking about news and politics from a left wing perspective, with a healthy dose of clowning on conservatives thrown in. Piker was banned after signing off from a December 13 stream where he discussed the word “cracker” following the banning of two of his moderators who used the word.


“I’ve been called a cracker more times than every single one of you fucking pasty little cracker bitches in my chat, OK,” Piker said during the livestream. “Stop crying about this fucking term, OK? Recognize that the person who is calling you a fucking cracker is literally powerless…they’re doing it someone whose been historically oppressed blowing off steam.”

Twitch did not give an official reason for the ban and has not responded to a request for comment. Piker confirmed in a Twitter DM he'd been banned for 7 days for saying the word “cracker." This is Piker’s third ban, Twitch kicked him off the platform in 2019 for a week after he said “America deserved 9/11 dude. Fuck it, I’m saying it.”

Piker and his moderator’s are just three of the latest creators banned for using the word cracker. Earlier this week, libertarian streamer Vaush and New Zealand streamer Fawn were also banned for, they believe, for saying cracker

Twitch has not clarified whether it believes cracker is a slur. According to Twitch’s Terms of Service, “using hateful slurs, either untargeted or directed towards another individual,” is grounds for removal from the site. “We allow certain words or terms, which might otherwise violate our policy, to be used in an empowering way or as terms of endearment when such intent is clear. We also make exceptions for slurs in music—and singing along to music—as long as the song itself is not hateful and the slurs are not combined with other discriminating or denigrating content.”


Twitch plays fast and loose when defining what, exactly, can and can’t be said on the platform. “We’ve had questions about the use of the N word on Twitch. Use with a hard R is not allowed, period. We also automatically block the word across Twitch including in chat,” it said in a Tweet in 2020. “Additionally, regardless of spelling or pronunciation, slurs used for the purpose of hate or harassment are not allowed.”

Twitch’s racism problem came to a head in September of this year when numerous creators boycotted the platform for its inaction around hate raids. During a hate raid, users would invade a channel and spam its chat with foul language and racial slurs. As Twitch said, it has automatic filters against certain slurs but it’s easy for racists to change a few letters and fill up a creator’s chat with obviously racist messages. A month after the boycott, Twitch released new tools that let creators have more control over who could post what in their chatroom.

A simple list of what, specifically, can and can’t be said on Twitch would help creators like Piker avoid getting banned. Twitch seems uninterested in producing hard and fast rules though, and a lack of clarity stifles discourse and gives it a lot of wiggle room for how it handles individual cases.

A creator on Twitch can’t be sure where the line is until they’ve crossed it. With mysterious policies like that in place, it’s easy for people who think cracker is a slur to believe the streaming platform is secretly on their side.