Those who follow esports will recognize James “Phantoml0rd” Varga as the controversial streamer who was banned from Twitch after allegedly promoting a Counter-Striker: Global Offensive gambling site without disclosing his business ties to it. This was never confirmed as the official reason for the ban, but Twitch was cracking down on CS: GO gambling streams at the time of his ban in 2016. 3 years later, a judge actually ruled that Varga had cause to sue the platform for an “unconscionable” clause within his contract that capped the amount of damages he could sue for at $50,000. This win for Varga came after he filed a lawsuit against Twitch in 2018 for banning him over “unsubstantiated, false accusations,” and loss of income, with the company countersuing him for violation of their policy. The case is still ongoing, but Twitch has now requested that it be dropped, citing the Communications Decency Act.
This act dissolves Twitch of legal liability for the actions of users on their site, distinguishing them as a platform rather than a publisher. It also provides immunity regarding actions done in “good faith” to protect their community from obscene or harmful content. The company insists that there is no evidence that they’re actions were not based in “good faith.” Twitch’s legal team explains this in their dismissal request, saying “Twitch did not act in bad faith because the TOS and Partnership Agreement (to the extent it even governed his account termination here) forewarned against exactly the type of content for which Plaintiff was penalized…” Varga was banned for “inappropriate content, non-gaming content, and activity that contravenes applicable laws such as gambling productions” which the company feels they were fully within their rights to reprimand.
Currently, the trial is set to take place in October, but the courts will have a response to the dismissal request by September. If there is deemed to be any merit Varga will have the option of appealing. Without an appeal, the case would likely end up dropped.