07 January 2021 10:35
The PogChamp face (as it appeared in this video) (Image credit: Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez) Earlier today, the US Capitol was overrun by far-right rioters acting in support of President Trump's baseless claims that the election of Joe Biden was fraudulent. As the building was breached, we noted that streamer HasanAbi's commentary and cable news feeds had become the top stream on Twitch. The day isn't over, and Twitch is relevant again for a different reason: It has responded to a tweet from fighting game personality Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez by removing Twitch's immensely popular PogChamp emote, which depicts his face. In the tweet, Gutierrez called for "civil unrest" on behalf of one of the rioters, a woman who was shot and killed by law enforcement inside the Capitol. Gutierrez referred to her as "the #MAGAMartyr" and characterized her death as an "execution." Twitch viewed the statement as a call for further violence by the pro-Trump mob.
The PogChamp emote. (Image credit: Twitch) "We've made the decision to remove the PogChamp emote following statements from the face of the emote encouraging further violence after what took place in the Capitol today," wrote Twitch. "We want the sentiment and use of Pog to live on—its meaning is much bigger than the person depicted or image itself—and it has a big place in Twitch culture. We will work with the community to design a new emote for the most hype moments on Twitch." We will work with the community to design a new emote for the most hype moments on Twitch.January 7, 2021 The PogChamp emote was one of the most popular on Twitch, and even spawned merchandise. Previously, calls to remove it in response to Gutierrez posting COVID-related conspiracy theories were ignored, but Twitch has become more proactive about blocking things recently.
It's banned the Confederate flag, blackface, and unwelcome sexual comments, as well as the use of words like 'simp' and 'incel' when intended as sexually disparaging insults. According to NBC, three arrests were made inside the Capitol today, and improvised explosives were found. Other social media platforms have also taken steps to shut down inciting speech following the Capitol riot: Twitter locked President Trump's account for 12 hours. Twitch has pulled the popular PogChamp emote. "We've made the decision to remove the PogChamp emote following statements from the face of the emote encouraging further violence after what took place in the Capitol today," Twitch tweeted. "We want the sentiment and use of Pog to live on - its meaning is much bigger than the person depicted or image itself- and it has a big place in Twitch culture. However, we can't in good conscience continue to enable use of the image." The PogChamp emote is based on Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez, a famous face within the fighting game community. The emote itself originates from a 2010 video blooper reel from the Cross Counter YouTube show, in which Gootecks expressed surprise. Last night, after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attack that saw four people die, Gootecks called for "civil unrest" over the shooting and death of a woman inside the Capitol building, using the hashtag "MAGAMartyr" in a tweet. Twitch said it will now work with the community to design a new emote "for the most hype moments" on its platform.