Twitch bans the PogChamp emote following Capitol Hill riots

It says the face behind the emote encouraged further violence.

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Steve Dent
January 7th, 2021
The twitch logo is seen at the offices of Twitch Interactive Inc, a social video platform and gaming community owned by Amazon, in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 6, 2017.  REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Elijah Nouvelage / reuters

Twitch has banned the popular PogChamp emote after the face of it, Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, encouraged further violence. “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 tweeted. “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.”

Gutierrez, a Street Fighter player who became the literal face of the PogChamp emote, published tweets apparently demanding “civil unrest” following the death of a women in the Capitol yesterday. Last night, pro-Trump individuals stormed the Capitol building, causing members of Congress and the Senate to evacuate and delaying the certification of President-elect Joe Biden.

PogChamp is one of the more popular emotes on Twitch, used by viewers to express excitement in livestream chats. Ahead of Twitch’s actions, popular streams banned the emote retroactively from their private streams. Twitch said it will work with the community to create a new emote.

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