The makers of the online social multiplayer game Roblox appear to have blocked controversial Swedish YouTuber Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg from playing their game while using a variation of his famous online name. His name, it seems, is a problem for them.
PewDiePie has only streamed Roblox a few times in the past. He did so most recently on Sunday as part of a bid to win more subscribers to his YouTuber channel as part of an ongoing competition against the Indian music label T-Series, which currently operates YouTube’s second most-subscribed-to channel. They have approximately 85,342,000 subscribers at the time of writing. He has 85,394,000. As the stream went on, fans and Roblox players started joining whichever server PewDiePie was in in order to hang out with him. Some even typed his name in message bubbles or greeted him while others tried to create in-game objects with things like “sub PewDiePie” on them.
The account PewDiePie used to play Roblox, pewdie123t32, which he created specifically for the occasion, was eventually deleted sometime after the stream concluded. Even now, there are several variations of PewDiePie’s name, like “peewdiepie” and “pewdeepie” are listed as “inappropriate” when entered on the game’s account registration page.
Some fans have speculated that Roblox has chosen to shadowban the YouTuber in this way because of the mature nature of the content he produces outside the game and his past history of doing and saying offensive things. In 2017 Disney broke off ties with PewDiePie over his anti semitic jokes. Later that same year he apologized for using the n-word during a livestream. Just last december, the YouTuber gave a shout-out to another channel which happened to host anti semitic content, something PewDiePie later said he wasn’t aware of and deleted from his video.
[Update - 2/14/18]: PewDiePie’s Roblox account has been reinstated, the company announced in a forum post. It said that it regularly blocks memes which “are syonymous for behavior that falls outside of our community standards” and that in December, “pewdie” had become such a meme.
“As such, we began blocking the creation of new usernames that incorporated the term ‘pewdie,’” the company said in the forum post. “The legacy account that PewDiePie used in his livestream was incorrectly banned as part of the administration of this policy. His legacy account is being reinstated.”