A prominent political podcaster had his Streamlabs account deleted among others without notice or explanation. Then the company refused to refund his service payment after Streamlabs terminated his subscription.
“This is absolutely atrocious customer service,” YouTube personality Matt Christiansen tweeted. “You deleted my account and gave no notice, now saying that I ‘violated the terms’ with no specific mention of how.”
Streamlabs is live-streaming software that integrates viewer interactions, chat management, and tip donations. For years, Christiansen has used the broad streaming service that offers the “super chat” function: a way for listeners to send messages and tip the streamer.
@Streamlabs I am a Prime subscriber. You take my money and delete my account, ending service with no explanation of why? Completely outrageous.
— Matt Christiansen (@MLChristiansen) February 18, 2021
Streamlabs Help Center told Christiansen on Feb. 18 that due to the alleged “terms of service violation,” he can no longer receive donations through his since-removed Streamlabs tipping page.
The notification was four days later in response to Christiansen’s Feb. 14 message, informing the company that he has “long accepted” donations—but as of that morning, his page had “disappeared.” He then inquired if the link was directed to another location and how he can recover the portal page.
But without warning, Streamlabs had deleted Christiansen’s account and terminated services, according to documentation uploaded to his Twitter thread. Christiansen called the move “outrageous.” He also noted that Streamlabs policed at least three other streamers that Christiansen is aware of and citied unexplained “violations of terms of service.”
“That is your typical ‘banned for wrongthink’ type stuff,” Christiansen told The Post Millennial, pivoting to call out several uncanny details in the presumed purge. “Streamlabs never notified anyone they banned. We all found out by our viewers telling us or stumbling upon it ourselves,” he stated.
Because the several streamers were banned at once, Christiansen suspected that there is “an organized effort” at Streamlabs to crack down on creators. “We did not all just happen to ‘violate the terms’ at the same time, despite years of use between us,” he volleyed.
Christiansen covers news and politics from the conservative to libertarian perspective. Observing the fact that several others with similar views were also targeted, “it looks like Streamlabs wanted to get rid of people with opinions they don’t like, not necessarily something specific to me or my stream,” he suggested.
While Streamlabs is small in size comparison to other companies, Christiansen stated that it would appear on the surface that Streamlabs is adhering to the “same sort of ideological censorship” as Big Tech oligarchs such as Twitter and YouTube.
Christiansen said he had first assumed that the situation was “some sort of mistake or error.” Because of his beneficial relationship with Streamlabs in the past, he decided to upgrade to their $150 premium service to obtain instant chat support.
“So just to be clear, Prime members can have their accounts disabled, and the Prime chat server has nothing to say about it” Christiansen prompted. “Prime chat in Discord is for tech help, like game capture issues or not being able to go live,” the chat support answered, offering consolation that the Streamlabs team has “identified the issue” and is working to fix the problem now.
But then several days later is when Streamlabs informed Christiansen of his boot out the door and refused to refund his payment.
“On @Streamlabs, you pay for better help tools, where they can tell you they have no idea what to do for you after they delete your account after paying them,” Christiansen fired back on social media.
— Matt Christiansen (@MLChristiansen) February 18, 2021
Then Streamlabs stated that Christiansen will not be refunded for the year of service subscription that he had paid for and now will not receive. “We apologize for the inconvenience,” Streamlabs Help Center messaged him.
“You guys truly are disgraceful,” Christiansen commented on the additional strike. He clarified that StreamLabs is “punishing” him and “stealing” his money, because of something someone else said via chat. “What am I supposed to do, be their moderator? How?” he questioned. “This is theft.”
His stream is not even broadcasted on Streamlabs; Christiansen live streams on YouTube, DLive, and Trovo. “I have never ‘said’ anything on Streamlabs,” Christiansen replied. “In other words, Streamlabs has banned me either for things I said elsewhere on other platforms, or they are punishing me for things the chat said, which of course I don’t control.”
Christiansen reflected on the incident Sunday during an episode of the “Matt & Blonde Show.” While the show has been demonetized and demoted through algorithm promotions but never deplatformed before, this “outright ban” from Streamlabs marks an “audience achievement” and “moment of honor,” Christiansen joked, since he presumed that his base played an unspecified role.
“This isn’t your typical censorship,” he told his viewers, pointing at “deeper wrinkles,” including the “fraud and theft angle” he had described.
Christiansen’s “100% listener-funded work” can still be supported on his eponymous website in addition to third-party options like subscription tiers on SubscribeStar, super chat on TippeeeStream, and his back-up Streamlabs tip page.
However, there are other products in development that he is considering. As far as legal routes, Christiansen is organizing with other streamers banned by Streamlabs to consider what options they have and plan to consult an attorney.