Because of the accessibility of news through the internet, most people rely on the internet as their primary source of information. The internet allows information to spread rapidly, making it easy for anyone to see the mistakes that people say and do as well as the repercussions that they face as a result. In 2018, two big names have been in the limelight, showing the two different faces of punishment typically administered today.
Tyler “Tyler1” Steinkamp, a famous League of Legends streamer, is one such figure that was sentenced to retributive punishment for his negative and toxic personality to other players when he played the game. Riot Games, the company behind League of Legends, resorted to an ID ban, allowing zero tolerance of the specific player playing the game, finding and banning all accounts that he played on. Tyler’s success as a League of Legends streamer plummeted, but the attention that he garnered as a result of the drastic measures taken by Riot Games gave him a boost in views despite the ban. After two years of being banned, on January 4, 2018, Tyler Steinkamp was deemed rehabilitated by Riot and unbanned from the game. The day he announced his first stream returning to the game, he broke countless records on Twitch.tv, a popular website used to live stream games and other activities, and even temporarily broke the website itself as the website couldn’t handle an explosion of viewers on a single channel. Tyler benefited greatly, and has comfortably seated himself as a top streamer on the website because of the attention he has garnered and the effort he has put in to make the game more enjoyable for everyone. Furthermore, Riot Games was able to highlight its low tolerance policy on toxicity from players in the future, a huge step for the company of the largest online game.
Another example of punishment involves Logan Paul’s fiasco during his trip to Japan. After releasing two vlogs depicting his journey to Japan, where he filmed a dead body that he found in a location notorious for being a place where many people commit suicide and mocked Japanese culture in the capital, netizens exploded, demanding that Logan Paul receive retribution for his disrespectful behavior. After mere hours of the vlog being uploaded, Logan Paul received harsh criticism on multiple social media platforms and announced that he would take a break from Youtube and return in the future. A form of self enforced punishment for the purpose of punishment, not rehabilitation. However, many netizens speculate that the break that Logan Paul announced is simply a business tactic to ensure that when he does return, he will be able to enjoy an influx in views from his dedicated fanbase and the mobs that want to see him gone for good, similar to what occurred to Tyler Steinkamp. Many people are also disturbed by Youtube’s lack of action for what seems like such a drastic error. However, the lack of action is very understandable as the Youtube drama surrounding Logan Paul will only increase traffic onto the website, making money for Youtube.
There is no guarantee that punishment will end up working the way we want it to, but that’s not to say it doesn’t work. Furthermore, the intent behind punishment should be kept in mind as well. It is not rare to see people attempt to veil the intent behind punishment in order to save their public image. It’s our duty as the public who consumes mass media to recognize these attempts to deceive us. `