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Lift The Ban On Your Streaming Career
Okay, so you made a mistake and got banned, you weren’t the first and definitely will not be the last. Or perhaps you didn’t do anything wrong, and it was an unfortunate misunderstanding with the moderators of the platform. Remember, these types of mixups have happened before. Regardless, you are now on the outside looking in, wondering if this is the end of your entertainment career. There has been an unprecedented rise in popular streamers getting kicked off platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and game sites on what seems to be a daily basis. The next logical question on the minds of both streamers and their followers is, “what happens next?”
— Wubby (@PaymoneyWubby) November 16, 2019
While some past behavior may be regrettable, even world-renowned movie stars like Robert Downey Jr. may not have become Iron Man if they didn’t first have to overcome some major obstacles. In life, everyone should have an opportunity for redemption, including streamers. Unfortunately, for many users, a platform’s Terms of Service policy has absolute autonomy to cast your talents into a desolate offline wilderness, often never to return.
Depending on what your goal is for the future, you may need to clean some things up in your act or stay true to yourself because that’s what your fans expect. Whatever the case may be, if you got banned or suspended from a platform, don’t pack away your webcam for good just yet. In this article, we are going to dive into the world of streaming and social platform bans, giving you tips on how you can get back behind the microphone and entertaining your fan base.
Here are the things you should do if you get banned from Twitch or any other platform:
- Realize it was a mistake to believe you owned your account
- Understand you may through an emotional rollercoaster
- Evaluate why your viewers were drawn to you in the first place
- Launch your own branded website
Realize it was a mistake to believe you owned your account
Being banned typically takes users completely off-guard, primarily because there is a false belief that they are the owners of their accounts. Clicking the “I Accept” button on a platform’s Terms of Service policy for most people has become second nature. So much that, in fact, according to a consumer study by Deloitte, 97% of people between the ages of 18 to 34 accept legal terms and conditions without reading them. In another experimental study by the University of Connecticut, it found that 98% of people agreed to a Terms of Service policy on a fake social networking site that included respondents agreeing to share their personal data with the NSA, and providing their firstborn child as payment. So if you didn’t read the fine print when signing up for your account, don’t feel bad because apparently no one else does either.
These studies confirm what streaming and social platforms have likely known for years, which is that the majority of users will agree to anything as long as it provides access to the desired service. If you are a user that has invested significant time growing and monetizing a following, the effect of suddenly having it ripped away could be devastating. When a user is banned, typically one of their initial questions, after “what did I do wrong,” is to ask what right does a platform have to revoke user access. The answer to this question is often located in a Termination clause within a Terms of Service policy.
For example, Section 14 of Twitch’s Terms of Service policy highlights their right to terminate your account at any time for any reason:
Beyond the legal jargon, this illustrates that you are not, and have never been the owner of your account. In the future, understanding that your contractual relationship with a third-party platform is built on shaky grounds, to begin with, is critical information. This can lead you to make a series of different decisions, including whether or not it’s worth investing time and effort building up brand equity on their platform. We highlight this point not to add insult to injury, but to raise awareness of a fundamental lesson that all users should take away moving forward. Before you invest time and substantial effort into building a brand on a third-party platform, remember you will likely never own the rights to your account.
Understand that you may go through an emotional rollercoaster
There can be a significant amount of emotional collateral damage as a result of a social platform banning a user. The term “banned” has unfortunately become a buzzword that can carry negative connotations about the person on the receiving end of the punishment. This could cause a user to feel ashamed, embarrassed, and affect their self-esteem. It’s important to remember that society should never allow a for-profit organization’s policy, which was created solely to protect the economic interest of an organization, to indirectly define the integrity of a user. Also, as the effects of social platform usage become more evident, a sudden loss of access could have a myriad of unknown consequences.
When popular Fortnite streamer FaZe Jarvis was banned by Epic Games, in a video to fans, he was noticeably shaken from the incident due to the realization that he could no longer compete in the game. If you experience a ban, you may feel as if you just lost a big part of yourself, and may wonder how to move forward.
Here are a few ideas to help you bounce back after a ban:
- Seek professional help by talking to someone if you are having a tough time transitioning away from the platform
- Remember that a ban does not define your talent or integrity
- Take time away and focus on other important aspects of life
Remember why your followers were drawn to you in the first place
If you once had thousands of enthusiastic followers, or only a handful, it proves that you were able to create a product that people wanted to frequently engage. After a ban, it may be easy to forget why your followers were drawn to you in the first place. Take a moment to recall the different types of feedback you received during your time on the platform. What were the traits about you they liked the most? Make a note of these things and determine what can be improved to take your channel and brand to a higher level in the future. The irony of a ban is that it actually could provide you with an excellent opportunity to address your strengths and weaknesses as you begin preparing for your big comeback to entertaining. That’s right, a comeback!
Here is a checklist of topics to consider when evaluating your old channel:
- Fan engagement best practices
- Creation of high-quality content
- Professional studio set up and hardware
- Channel promotions (i.e., PPC, Influencer Marketing, SEO)
- Cross social platform growth strategies
- Collaborations with other influencers
- Sponsorships and branding
Launch your own branded website
You have come a long way since the unfortunate events of the past; however, with newly accumulated knowledge, you realize that those events have now prepared you to rise higher in your career. The time has come for you to rebuild your brand on a platform that is 100% under your control, a website. Taking your career to the next level will require more effort than merely adding a background overlay or emotes to your profile page. Now its time to think bigger, much bigger. Building a website is an investment in your business infrastructure and also a stable brand asset.
Additional benefits to building a website include:
- No content or streaming policy restrictions
- Complete freedom of expression
- Ownership of brand trademarks and site assets
- Full advertising and monetization controls
If you want a full breakdown of how to start a website, click here. Lastly, consider registering yourself as a legal business entity such as an LLC or Corporation to provide additional legal protections and benefits. It’s now easier than ever to start your own business and overall a good idea if you want your career to soar to new heights.
The ban on your potential is now lifted
Dwelling on the past and what used to be will only keep you stuck in an unproductive place. Hopefully, this article was able to inspire and remind you of the bright future ahead if you don’t give up or let a Terms of Service policy define your potential. Often in life, a setback can be a setup for something better in the future. Keeping the right perspective and a positive attitude can take you far. In closing, there’s no fancy ending to this article, only four words. Get back to work!