Twitch removed one of its oldest and most iconic emotes after the Capitol siege, saying it encouraged 'further violence'

Twitch removed one of its oldest and most iconic emotes after the Capitol siege, saying it encouraged 'further violence'
Twitch removed the popular PogChamp emote following comments from its face, Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez.Twitch/Cross Counter TV/YouTube
  • Twitch, the live streaming platform, announced that it was removing PogChamp, one of its oldest emotes, following incendiary comments about the Capitol siege from the man behind its face.
  • Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez, the face of the meme, made incendiary comments asking if there would be "civil unrest" for a woman who was killed during Wednesday's Capitol siege.
  • Gutierrez had also spread conspiracy theories on Twitch itself, as Kotaku reported earlier this year.

Twitch announced on Wednesday evening that it was banning PogChamp, one of the platform's oldest emotes, after the man behind its face made statements "encouraging further violence" following the siege at the Capitol.

Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez, who's face is captured in the emote, tweeted on Wednesday asking if there would be "civil unrest" for a woman who was shot dead during the events at the Capitol. The woman, later identified as Air Force veteran Ashli Babbit, was one of the rioters who stormed the Capitol to protest the confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory over President Donald Trump.

"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 said in a statement posted to Twitter. "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."
Advertisement
The platform said in a third tweet that it would "work with the community to design a new emote for the most hype moments on Twitch."

The decision came after Twitch streamer Natasha "Zombaekillz" Zinda called on Twitch to ban the emote following Gutierrez's comments in a tweet that amassed over 2,000 likes, also giving instructions for fellow streamers to ban the emote in their own chat. As Polygon reported, other streamers also called on the platform to remove the emote.

PogChamp is one of Twitch's oldest emotes, and viewers deploy it in chat when particularly exciting moments (or, if they're trolling, particularly bad ones) occur during a live stream. It, and derivations like "pog" and "poggers," have become part of the vernacular of general gaming and online culture.
Advertisement

The original meme comes from an image of Gutierrez making an exaggerated surprised face in a Cross Counter TV video.

As Kotaku's Nathan Grayson reported earlier this year, Gutierrez had previously espoused conspiracy theories regarding vaccines, and other topics, during a live stream on Twitch itself.Gutierrez did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Advertisement
{{}}