The N word is an ethnic slur relating to black people with a long, long history and association with racism and slavery. It is extremely offensive even when not used directly to offend anyone and a word people don’t even want to say out loud even when alone.
Sadly, the slur is infamous in online video gaming which has also spilled onto Twitch at times. However, can you use the n word on Twitch or is it a word which will be auto-moderated and possibly result in a ban?
Read on to find out because the answer may infuriate some people for many reasons.
Forewarning: this article does spell out the full n word and misspellings for the purposes of clarity for the reader. We have enclosed their usage with quote marks “”
What does the n word mean?
For avoidance of doubt, the n word related to “nigger” and its different spellings such as nigga, niggah and negro. In this article we will cover all of these and how they are seen by Twitch.
Can you say the N word on Twitch?
Twitch has made a huge mess since their hateful content update in 2020. Yes, you read that right – they didn’t even make changes until 2020 on something that has been a problem for decades.
In an attempt to be clear about the n word, they probably made it worse.
Use of the N word with a hard R (“nigger”) is banned on Twitch on stream and in chat, and will likely get you an instant ban from the platform. Twitch have gone official on this from a tweet in 2020.
There have been no updates on this specific issue since.
Although they are pretty clear about the use of “nigger” (although enforcement is debatable) they have fallen disappointingly short of outright banning misspellings – instead they have only highlight HOW the n word is used before enforcement will do something about it.
This applies to both content creators and users in chat.
This suggests that the use of n word can sometimes be ok depending on the intent behind it. But, can there every be any intent behind its use that doesn’t involve racism and hate?
So to answer the question of whether or not you can say the N word on Twitch – the answer is a yes and a no. You can’t say “nigger” but you could say “nigga” if it was said with the intent to spread hate or to harass.
This is not to say that you should say it, of course you shouldn’t, but you could actually say it with no permanent repercussions from Twitch HQ, but you are still likely to be banned by the channel it is said in.
But, it is very likely that most channels will have this word auto-moderated by bots and it will not get shown in chat anyway, and you will then probably be banned from that channel.
Interestingly, wikipedia seperates “nigger” and “nigga”. They have listed “nigger” as an ethnic slur but “nigga” as a vulgar term associated with hip hop music.
This is very off from Twitch HQ, especially when they are hell bent on banning the use of “simp”, “incel” and “virgin” which are documented in our banned words article. The pushback Twitch have received on the N word rule isn’t so much about the word itself but more about their stance on other words which people, us included, deem to be much less offensive. We refer to them banning outright the word “virgin” suggesting that someone uttering that word is worse than someone saying “nigga”.
Either way, that is the official answer on the n word and its use on Twitch…or is it?
Can streamers say the N word?
We wish we could give you a straight answer on this but we can’t. Technically, streamers and users in chat abide by the same terms of service and community guidelines, affiliates and partners more so. However, there have been high profile uses of the word which includes the likes of Ninja, Tfue, Mizkif, Pokimane, Ayrun and PewDiePie (YouTube).
When they used these words they didn’t received a permanent ban, they just needed to apologise. This sends the message that the n word can be said but you have to apologise. But, if you were a nobody in someone’s chat you’d get the ban hammer. Instantly.
If you are a big enough streamer, you can say the n word it seems.
Can black people say the N word on Twitch?
The wording by Twitch on the use of the n word doesn’t get into specifics on whether or not black people can say it. Regardless of race, the rule on the use of the n word is the same – you can’t say it in chat with a hard R but you may be able to say misspellings of it as long as it’s not used to spread hate or harass.
There are many complexities and opinions on whether ANYONE should be able to say the word without consequences – Twitch would never get involved in something like that.
Saying it as a black streamer may or may not get you banned. It’s unclear as Twitch’s own rules and their previous record of not banning people for saying it are unclear.
If you’ve read this and thought it was bullshit how Twitch treats the n word in any of its forms then you are correct. Especially when you see how Twitch enforces other words which are nowhere near as globally divisive and hurtful.