It doesn’t take much to get banned from a social media platform in 2023—anything from spam to copyright infringement to “inappropriate or offensive content” can lead to a social media ban. But for some users, it’s more dire than others. Streamers like IShowSpeed, whose name is Darren Watkins Jr., make a living through streaming and social media. With a YouTube ban, his career could be done.
IShowSpeed was already banned from Twitch in Dec. 2021, and not even two years later, he’s potentially facing another platform ban after a very controversial moment captured on camera. So what did he do and was he banned from YouTube?
What did IShowSpeed do? He could be banned from YouTube.
The timing of IShowSpeed’s unfortunate event couldn’t be any worse. He was away dealing with health concerns after a severe sinus infection caused his right eye to swell and shut. After the incident landed him in the hospital, he was diagnosed with cluster headaches, “a series of relatively short but very painful headaches every day for weeks or months at a time,” according to Web MD.
But right when he came back, he ended up under fire after a controversial on-screen moment. On Aug. 16, 2023, he accidentally exposed himself during a live stream. IShowSpeed was playing Five Nights at Freddy’s when he stood up to yell at one of the characters in the game. As he thrusted at the screen, his penis accidentally popped out and the viewers saw everything.
“Oh, my god," he said, realizing what happened. Luckily, he’s at least 18 years old now, but that’s still a scary moment for everyone. Considering the fact that young children watch some of his streams, parents are now concerned about allowing their kids to watch his videos. Darren has yet to speak out or apologize for the video, and although it’s an accident, he’ll likely need to take some action to ensure he doesn’t get banned from YouTube.
Darren has yet to speak out or apologize for the video, and although it’s an accident, he’ll likely need to take some action to ensure he doesn’t get banned from YouTube.
As far as we know, he hasn't been banned yet, but because he hasn't posted since the incident, it's very possible he just hasn't shared the news of his ban with his followers.
A fake IShowSpeed TikTok account is pretending that he is quitting streaming.
Naturally, con artists are happy to take any opportunity they can to monetize a situation. A fake TikTok account @ishowspeed1038 has been sharing old videos of Darren to amass followers. The account has already gained over 170,000 followers amidst the controversy. In the videos, some of which have been shared on Twitter, IShowSpeed tells his followers that he’s quitting YouTube.
However, a quick search shows that these videos are actually from the past few years. Every April Fool’s Day, Darren likes to trick his followers into thinking that he’s quitting the streaming life. The biggest video that’s been reshared was first posted in April 2022. All this means is that Darren has yet to actually say anything to his followers and that he’s likely waiting on directives from his PR representatives.
If IShowSpeed is banned from YouTube, it wouldn’t be his first time getting banned from a streaming platform.
In Dec. 2021, IShowSpeed was banned from Twitch for “sexual coercion or intimidation.” At the time, he was just 16 years old and asked a fellow streamer, TikToker “Ash Kash” a philosophical question: “Say, we're the last two people on Earth and we had to reproduce to make the world continue. Would you reproduce with me?"
We’ve all seen Chandler ask Monica this on Friends, but Darren’s query takes a dark turn after Ash says no. "Who's going to stop me? Who's going to stop me?!” he responded. “If we’re the last two people on Earth, who's going to stop me?! You're not stopping me! If we're the last two people on Earth, who's going to stop me?" This has sexual assault connotations worse than Dennis’s “implication” in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
So, IShowSpeed was banned indefinitely from Twitch. He later apologized and said that he’s “learning” as he switched to YouTube, where he runs three separate accounts. He’s been banned from YouTube multiple times, just for short periods, due to YouTube’s copyright and spam policies. However, if the platform decides to ban him over this accidental infraction, he could be confined to TikTok for his livelihood.