The top multiplayer gaming website Roblox has reinstated PewDiePie, otherwise known as Felix Kjellberg, after banning him earlier this week following a game stream, which he then posted on his YouTube channel. The move was reportedly caused by the moderators’ confusion over a prohibited meme related to the abridged version of his name that he used on the gaming platform – “pewdie.”
Roblox posted a comment saying they have been banning usernames, especially new ones, that contain the word “pewdie” since December after a string of related memes were reposted and thus became recurrent in the community, celebrating “behaviour that falls outside of our community standards”. PewDiePie’s longstanding account was blocked over safety considerations, according to the post, but then reinstated, as the policy applies only to newly created accounts.
Little, meanwhile, is known about the contentious meme from last December that Roblox referred to, and even a dig into the game’s open forums for community members bore little fruit, if any. For now, a Roblox moderator refused to comment to The Verge about whether people with “pewdie” in their usernames would continue to face bans, and despite the general confusion, the practice is expected to continue.
The ban possibly had to do with PewDiePie as a person, which was widely discussed after fans spotted a forum post from a Roblox staffer who wrote that any content that had connection with the Swede would be axed due to his content “redirecting to unsafe and inappropriate sites/channels, as well as continued inappropriate behaviour”.
The news promptly drew the ire of Kjellberg’s fans, both from inside and outside the Roblox community, with internet users expressing outrage about being blocked for merely mentioning PewDiePie, and even kick-starting respective flashmobs under the hashtags #BoycottRoblox and #unbanpewdiepie.
There was also a view that the YouTuber’s account was blocked due to the use of profane language during a recent livestream, but in one of his fresh vlogs, Kjellberg reviewed the stream in question and found that he had used no swear words in it.
The other day, individual creator PewDiePie livestreamed his Roblox game to his heavily promoted YouTube account in a bid to rack up additional views on the major video sharing website, in an attempt to beat his long-time YouTube rival, the Bollywood company T-Series. PewDiePie ultimately attracted as many as 120,000 concurrent viewers at the peak of the live stream.
The ongoing race between Kjellberg and T-Series is particularly tight, as the subscriber gap narrows day by day. The Swede has so far racked up over 85,210,200 subscribers, while his rival is trailing just behind, with almost 85,174,000 in total. Despite a lot of scepticism over the issue, PewDiePie and his fans hope for the better, as the top YouTuber is earning support due to being distinguished online as a highly popular individual creator rather than a profit-seeking business.