On the 28th April 2017 at Phoenix Airport the FBI and police entered a plane in response to a call claiming that there was a bomb onboard the flight. Although the FBI believed that the call had come from Ice Poseidon, a Twitch streamer/live vlogger it is alleged that the call, in fact, came from someone who watches his Livestream. The act of calling the police and claiming that there is a serious event in progress such as a hostage situation, threatening your own or someone else’s life or a bomb threat with the intent of getting law enforcement to raid the location where a streamer is broadcasting from is called swatting.
Typically swatting results in a broadcasters house being raided but in this case, the swatters went a step further and took it out of personal property and onto a flight. As soon as the flight from LA to Pheonix landed the FBI and other law enforcement forced their way onto the plane and thoroughly searched the plane and determined there to be no threat. Ice Poseidon was taken into FBI custody and questioned for several hours during which he explained what swatting was and claimed he did not make the call. Following questioning, he was released.
Ice Poseidon was streaming in the LA Airport while waiting for his flight to Phoenix. It appears that someone who was watching the pre-flight stream matched up the Airport with flights leaving for the Pheonix destination to tip off police as to which flight to target and providing Ice’s name as the offender.
Thankfully everyone who was on the plane is safe, and no one was hurt, but for many, the events that transpired were understandably very shocking and stressful. Following these events, Ice Poseidon has not been charged with any offences and the search for the individual who made the call continues. All in all Ice Poseidon has had a very bad week. Not only was he swatted on a plane, but he has also broken a very expensive PC monitor, been made out to be a bit of arsehole on national news by reporters and now to top it all off banned from Twitch. It hasn’t been confirmed that the ban was due to the plane swatting, but it looks likely this is the case; it is also possible that this may be a permanent ban from the platform. The girl that Ice was travelling with at the time although also removed from the plane and a streamer on the platform, she has not been banned.
As of right now, Ice is still banned, but people are spamming Twitch’s official channel with ‘Free Ice’ in an attempt to get an answer from Twitch and get his ban reversed. Twitch has yet to comment on the issue to confirm or deny whether the ban is temporary or permanent ban and the reasoning. However, based on a recent tweet by Ice Poseidon, there may be some developments incoming soon.
With the increasing popularity of sections of Twitch such as IRL, this raises the question whether the streamers are responsible for the actions of others which could put the stream at risk, whether this is swatting, people committing suicide, brawls and illegal activity. In Ice Poseidon’s case, he did publically stream in an airport, has a history of getting swatted and knew there was a risk it could happen again more publically given the recent spate of swatting that has happened in the IRL section on Twitch. But likewise, we understand the flip side of the argument as Ice has no control over the actions of others and he hasn’t been banned before because someone swatted him nor did he deliberately intend for the plane to get swatted or encourage people to do so.
As of right now, it looks like Twitch is just trying to cover all bases and minimise association to the events by distancing themselves. The mainstream media got hold of the story very quickly resulting it in making national news the same day. We will be interested to see whether Ice gets unbanned and if this leads to policy changes on Twitch to reflect the ever more problematic issue of swatting, and illegal/dangerous activities that are sometimes accidently filmed in the IRL section by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Swatting is a very dangerous and an illegal act which has over the past few years become increasingly problematic, especially for those in the USA. So far to our knowledge, no one has been killed as the result of a swatting attempt, but we do wonder how long this will last; it is only a matter of time if this continues. Thankfully attempts have been made to clamp down on swatters with cases of prosecutions of some of the individuals perpetrating these kinds of acts (http://www.pcgamer.com/swatter-sentenced-to-one-year-in-jail/, http://kotaku.com/17-year-old-swatter-sounds-like-a-complete-terror-1706131116 ). If you or anyone you know have ever been involved in swatting or have been considering it, we encourage you to think twice before you act and reconsider. It is a traumatising experience for those on the receiving end and could have even more horrendous consequences not just for those you are swatting but also the one/s carrying out the act.
Disclosure: In no way is the YouTube channel LivestreamFails associated with Charede Gaming. We have provided a link to their video for the purpose of enabling you to see some of the interviews and news coverage that occurred following the plane swatting events