Overwatch Twitch Mod ‘Uncleswagg’ faces Sexual harassment allegations

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The growth of Twitch is partly due to a rise in the number of streamers and viewers. It is not uncommon for big esports channels to see more than 100,000 concurrent viewers for their tournaments and leagues. However, with the rise in these numbers comes the need for better and more efficient moderation.

One of the unique features of Twitch is the notorious Twitch chat. The chat is usually full of emotes and random spams. People want to express their opinion and have meaningful conversations. But the Twitch chat is unique with thousands of emotes, memes and ‘copy pastas’. Twitch chat is not for the average layman. 

Twitch Chat Moderators

Individual streamers appoint moderators to help them control the Twitch chat. While the use of emotes, memes and copy paste is generally not frowned upon, the moderator has a tough task on his hand.

A Twitch moderator ensures the quality of chat and user comments stays ethical and non-abusive. Viewers do tend to get toxic either towards other streamers as well as against each other in comments. A moderators job is to ensure the Twitch chat stays in control and there are no racist slurs, sexual texts in th chat. It is a volunteer position and moderators are usually unpaid. Different moderators have different levels of efficiency and it is rare to see a moderator gain as much fame as UncleSwagg

Who is Uncleswagg?

Twitch Chat is a unique place

Uncleswagg is one of the most famous Twitch moderators. He was a moderator on several Twitch channels but shot to fame because of his time on Seagull’s stream. The growth of Seagull’s stream resulted in recognition for Uncleswagg. He has taken a big role in helping and developing the Overwatch community. He created the Twitch community, “CompetitiveOW” which has all the top Overwatch Professional players and streamers as it’s members.

Uncleswagg is one of the moderators who is almost omnipresent in the Twitch chats. He has a dedication towards moderation and is easily recognized amongst viewers. Some viewers even thought he was a bot in these streams.

Stripped of Authority from Official Overwatch Twitch Channels

Uncleswagg tweeted on Wednesday that he was relieved from all his moderation duties on many Official Overwatch Channels. These included the Overwatch League, PlayOverwatch as well as the Overwatch Contenders channels.

There was a widespread surprise at Blizzard’s decision. Uncleswagg has helped develop the Overwatch community in a way that no one else has. However, he also has several dark secrets about his behavior and attitude in the past.

Sexual Harassment Allegations

News of sexual harassment allegations against UncleSwagg broke out within the next few hours. The blogpost titled “Half a Million People have seen me naked” by Cher Scarlett laid bare the actions by Uncleswagg.

The incident takes us back to a time when Twitch was relatively new and growing at a phenomenal pace. It was a time when Imgur links would often lead to naked photos of female streamers and other personal details. Cher Scarlett had been betrayed by a man she considered trustworthy. Her naked photos were in circulation on the internet without her permission.

After approaching the Police as well as the Imgur support staff, she managed to get these photos off the internet. While still damaging, the fact that the photos were no longer on the Internet was a big relief.

However, in the third week of October 2012, Cher Scarlett started receiving an increased number of messages about these pictures. The pictures were posted online to an album which received over 30,000 views. The album belonged to UncleSwagg who had even proceeded to ask for more such photos.

Confirmation that Uncleswagg distribted and spread the images

She made a new account on Twitch, an action she hoped would solve her problems. But Uncleswagg followed her on the new Twitch account and even asked her for more photos.

Making a new Twitch account didn’t help the victim escape from Uncleswagg
He asks the victim for ‘more’ photos

This type of behaviour which is almost stalking her online is unacceptable and would lead to criminal charges in real life. But Uncleswagg was harassing her and had the audacity to ask for more pictures than those already in public domain.

When he started posting pictures of women online, it was because he wanted to ‘reveal the true nature of women’ by posting nude pictures of women on Twitch. This is a wrong opinion and just an excuse for humiliating and harassing female Twitch streamers.

Falsehood and Lies

 

Uncleswagg claimed he deleted the photos in May 2013. This was at the request of Cher Scarlett who pleaded with him to do the same.

Private email photo
May 2013: Images Deleted [Later proved untrue]
However, he mentioned the photos again in May 2017 and also claimed that he had them saved and preserved with him. The lies put forth by Uncleswagg have caused a lot of mental distress to not only Cher Scarlott but several other female Twitch streamers. Twitch should not allow such actions, especially for a person in a position of power as Uncleswagg.

Uncleswagg twitter
Uncleswagg confirms he still has the photos in May 2017

 

Just imagine the level of stress for Cher when she realized that the photos were still available with Uncleswagg despite all her efforts. No one should be able to post nude photos of another person online without their consent. Uncleswagg’s actions have brought about a lot of disrepute to himself as well as several streamers who anointed him as a moderator in their streams.

Denial despite proof

The initial response to these allegations was one of denial and ridicule. Uncleswagg’s private discord which had a sizeable following saw him disregard the allegations.

He clearly states that the allegations are untrue when asked in his Private discord. This was despite sizeable proof being provided against him in the post. When the community rallied against him and his actions, Uncleswagg did accept his fault.  

Public Apology – Not so much

Under a lot of pressure from various sources, Uncleswagg issued a public apology. The apology was made on Twitter and was very generic in nature. His response tried to provide excuses about his past and how he has been working hard to help the community. However, his good deeds do not balance out the bad ones. Leaking nudes, harassing females online and almost stalking them online when they try to make a new account is unacceptable.

It is difficult to really put his apology in perspective. However, he does not hold a moderator position  in all official Overwatch channels. He has also been demodded from several personal streams including XQC’s Twitch channel. More streamers will follow suit and demod him from their Twitch channels. Removing him as an eminent personality from the community is just one step towards ensuring a punishment for his actions.  

While Twitch moderators are usually unpaid, Uncleswagg rose to prominence due to his omnipresent nature on Twitch. But he abused his position and the information available to him. In real life, this would be paramount to legal action.

Update:

Cher Scarlett and Uncleswagg communicated in Private messages after her blog post was published. The victim feels that Uncleswagg is genuinely sorry for his actions and his behavior.

I do believe that he does feel remorse for his actions now, but I still want to ripple this through our community.

Lesson Learnt

She was not the only female streamer that Uncleswagg targeted. Moreover, Uncleswagg is not the only guy on Twitch or on the Internet who keeps posting revenge porn and nudes. This article wants to educate the community about the impact of your actions.

It is wrong to share and spread pictures of females online without their consent. It can lead to legal implications for you which will spoil your life as well as hers due to the leaked photos. Respecting another human being’s privacy and self-respect is important as you would expect them to do the same to you.

Blizzard’s response to demodding him from the official channels is because they will be forming their own in-house moderating team. Blizzard made this decision several weeks prior to the allegations. The latest news has no bearing on their decision to demod him from the Official channels.

He was part of a community-driven moderation team, which is currently being dissolved in favor of an in-house team. Overwatch is committed to building a community that is welcoming and inclusive for all players and fans. Harassment is something that Blizzard, the Overwatch League, and the Overwatch team take very seriously, and we will not hesitate to remove these players from our community.

Uncleswagg did a terrible thing which still haunts the victims.  He sets a bad example to the young, easily influenced gaming community. Despite his apology, this incident should serve as a warning to everyone in the community.

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