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Tragic Details About Pokimane

Moroccan-born streamer Pokimane, real name Imane Anys, is known for many things, but one of the defining characteristics of her content is her cheerful demeanor. Fans tuning into pretty much any video that the she posts to Twitch or YouTube are treated to her sunny disposition and winning smile, whether she is running a round of "Valorant" or hosting a relaxed "Just Chatting" session.

Pokimane has leveraged her popular and accessible personal brand to contribute to several related content creation channels. The streamer's massive popularity even led to a collaboration with Winky Lux to create products for her own makeup line, some of which even retailed for a time at Macy's. All of these ambitious ventures have helped raise her profile and even landed her a brief role in the film "Free Guy" in one of her most significant crossover moments yet.

Behind Pokimane's cheeriness and success is an ambitious young woman who faces overwhelming negativity on a daily basis and a human being with some real challenges in her professional life. Here are the tragic details about Pokimane's life that many fans are unaware of.

Pokimane had to put up with an obsessive fan for years

Many of the negative aspects concerning Pokimane's life and career revolve around her celebrity status and visibility online. While the internet has created new levels of accessibility for toxic people to target public figures, one of the most frustrating issues Pokimane has dealt with is one faced by many stars — a harasser who made it their mission to insult her for years.

As reported by Dexerto, Pokimane opened up during a 2019 stream about the inappropriate and aggressive emails that she had received from one individual. The issue occurred for so long that the streamer wasn't sure how many years the viewer had sent her messages calling her vulgar names. In the stream, she estimated that she had dealt with the harasser for "three and a half years? Maybe four?"

Pokimane considered limiting her chat to subs only due to constant criticism

While Pokimane may use her natural charisma to keep her audience tuning in, she is also a competent gamer who puts her skills on display by streaming popular competitive titles such as "League of Legends" and "Fortnite." However, the open format of chat discussions on Twitch invites a truly disheartening amount of negativity, and the unending barrage of criticism the streamer faced while streaming "Valorant" led her to consider limiting the availability of chat functions while playing the game.

Pokimane announced via Twitter that she was contemplating making the chat in her "Valorant" streaming sessions subs-only, meaning that fans would need to become paid subscribers to post in the chat. Right off the bat, this would prevent random people from dropping into the stream just to troll Pokimane and her fans by leaving negative comments about her play.

Considering that community engagement is one of the key draws of Twitch as a platform for many users, the fact that Pokimane needs to restrict access simply to stream without constant criticism is pretty disappointing. While toxic chat users have been one of the shadier parts of Twitch for a long time, the level that Pokimane has to put up with is truly unfortunate.

Pokimane has had to ban an unbelievable amount of users on Twitch

Pokimane has been forced to ban hundreds of thousands of people from her Twitch streams, showing the tragic scale of online harassment she has to deal with.

During a conversation with a Twitch software engineer, Robinlemonz, Pokimane casually asked how many Twitch accounts had been banned from her account. While Robinlemonz didn't reveal the total figure, they did estimate that about 350,000 real Twitch accounts had been permanently barred from entering Pokimane's chat.

The fact that so many individuals have chosen to log on to Twitch with a real account to post offensive, vulgar, or demeaning comments to Pokimane's chat is a bit overwhelming. While the streamer certainly has plenty of admirers, considering that she has amassed over 8 million subscribers on Twitch alone, dealing with that level of negativity daily is a sobering reality for someone who has built a public identity on creating an inclusive, positive space for fans.

JiDion's hate raid kicked off a series of stresses for Pokimane

Fellow streamer JiDion led a hate raid against Pokimane's channel in January 2022, just a few months after he was made a full Twitch partner. During this, encouraging his viewers to bombard her chat with crude comments and general nastiness. The negativity eventually spilled over into other areas, with people DM-ing Pokimane on other social media platforms to continue the harassment. Pokimane was so overwhelmed by the action that she very nearly quit Twitch altogether. For his part in orchestrating the hate raid, JiDion was banned from Twitch.

During an emotional stream shortly after the hate raid, she explained why the whole situation had shaken her up. She also slammed Ninja for apparently offering to help JiDion out by texting Twitch reps to get him his gig back, which quickly resulted in threats of legal action from Ninja's wife and manager, Jess Blevins. The debacle just kept growing, making Pokimane feel more and more helpless and frustrated.

In a since-deleted video (per Dexerto), Pokimane also revealed that although she and JiDion have since buried the hatchet, she experienced a serious bout with depression after the hate raid drama went down. She found herself physically inactive for longer periods of time as a result, as the whole ordeal just exhausted her.

Pokimane feels like she lost her 20s

Twitch has opened a lot of doors for Pokimane, bringing her to a massive fanbase and earning her a good bit of money in the process. However, that doesn't mean she doesn't have some regrets about her time with Twitch. Like many people, Pokimane felt like she lost time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and social distancing meant that people had to keep loved ones at arm's-length, for fear of catching the deadly illness. Though Pokimane was able to continue streaming through the pandemic, she did feel like she'd missed out on a lot.

In a since-deleted stream, she asked, "For anyone else in your 20s, did you come out of the pandemic and COVID feeling like, two years of my life, of like, the fun part of my life, were just stolen? Just gone?" She added, "That was really difficult for me. It almost feels like in my mind I split myself up into two, and one is looking at the other and really pitying them."

On top of the time lost to COVID, Poki also felt like she spent more of her time on camera in her 20s and less time enjoying her personal life and figuring out who she is as a person. She expressed a desire to curb her constant streaming schedule and take more time for herself — a thought that would come to shape the second half of 2022 for Pokimane and her fans.

Pokimane felt totally burnt out from streaming so much

Pokimane obviously loves interacting with her audience and friends during livestreams, but even the best job in the world can eventually wear a person down. Pokimane reached that breaking point in Summer 2022, when she announced to fans that she was experience burnout and wanted to take a step back from constant streaming. She took a break from July to September, at which point she posted a video detailing her future plans.

"It feels like I just don't really wanna participate in the rat race that is streaming," she said, explaining that she was tired of always worrying what others think of her. The pressure to always be "on" had gotten to Pokimane, and she reached a point where streaming didn't feel as fulfilling as it once did. She noted, "In the past it was fine, because either the games I was really enjoying or something within streaming felt new to me. But right now, it feels like something that I still want to be part of my arsenal, I just don't wanna feel those same pressures that I kind of need to feel as a full-time streamer." Because of this, Pokimane announced that she intended to stream fewer days a week and branch out to try producing different types on content on TikTok, Twitter, and more.

This wasn't the first time that Pokimane admitted to feeling burnt out by streaming on Twitch, but it was the first time that she decided to truly do something about it. Pokimane streams more frequently these days, but it seems she's much more willing to give herself the space she needs to take care of herself.

Pokimane's health issues have impacted her streaming schedule

Back in October 2022, Pokimane revealed to fans that she had begun wearing false teeth while streaming, as part of a prescribed plan to fix a chronic health issue. In a YouTube vlog titled "I'm making changes," Poki explained that she suffers from TMJ, which was causing pain and swelling in her jaw, as well as tinnitus that interrupted her sleep and made gaming less fun than it used to be. The false teeth, which fit in her mouth over her actual teeth, were designed to help fix the alignment of her jaw, thereby hopefully fixing her tinnitus. Previously prescribed medication only seemed to have made her condition worse, but Pokimane told fans she was optimistic about the new treatment plan.

Unfortunately, her tinnitus will still occasionally flare up at the most inopportune times, causing her extreme discomfort. In May 2023, Pokimane actually had to cancel a stream because of her condition, which she reluctantly told fans about on Twitter. However, she made sure to send a message of solidaity along with the cancelation tweet. In the now-deleted post (via Dexerto), Pokimane wrote, "for anyone dealing [with] a chronic condition, I feel you & encourage you to take care of yourself first, no matter how much it sucks to miss out on other things."

An industry professional used her image to get to people

Pokimane has had to deal with a good bit of harassment over the years, but an incident in 2023 truly seemed to haunt her. In this case, someone used her image and reputation to harass others.

Though Pokimane still has not named the individual in question, she explained the whole upsetting affair during a stream in March 2023. According to her, a professional within her industry pretended to be in an intimate relationship with Pokimane, then used that falsified connection to try and engage women in her fan community. He did so using screenshots of supposed conversations and explicit photos that he claimed were of Pokimane herself. Even worse, the individual apparently carried on like this for nearly two years without the streamer finding out. Through tears, Pokimane explained how furious she was "that someone would use my name, my reputation, my trust — and the trust that these girls had in me, to then manipulate them for his own benefit. It's just so f***ing disgusting."

Although the responsible party has since been fired from his job in the industry, Pokimane has expressed her fears that it won't prevent him from attempting similar tactics in the future.

Pokimane responds to disturbing deepfake content

Arguably the biggest scandal to unfold on Twitch in the early part of 2023, Atrioc made headlines when he accidentally revealed to viewers that he had deepfake pornography made of several of his fellow Twitch streamers. The AI-generated material on his hard drive depicted content creators like QTCinderella and Pokimane in compromising positions and situations, which immediately prompted backlash. Atrioc made a tearful apology to his fans and vowed to help shut down the companies that made this salacious content. He also donated his own money to help cover the legal fees of any woman creator who wanted to take on the deepfake makers in court.

As one of the women whose image was exploited by these deepfake sites, Pokimane was clearly disturbed by the whole ordeal. However, she kept her response to the scandal short and to the point on Twitter.

Twitch eventually released a statement condemning the creation of such deepfakes, writing, "The existence of this content, and its presence and distribution on various sites, is personally violating and beyond upsetting." Since then, the conversation surrounding these offenses has largely died down, but it no doubt left a mark on the Twitch community.

Pokimane lost a supportive grandfather in 2023

Fans who have followed Pokimane for a while will know that she has a strong bond with her family. Back in 2017, she expressed how happy she was to discover that her relatives were supportive of her career, and even watched her videos whenever they couldn't see her for stretches of time. That kind of bond isn't always assured in the entertainment industry, and Pokimane has expressed on many occasions that she's lucky to have it.

On August 12, 2023, Pokimane announced on Twitter that she would be stepping away from streaming for a little bit, as her grandfather had unexpectedly died. She did not reveal any details, but told her fans that she needed some time to work through the loss on her own terms.

The post was immediately met with an outpouring of love from fans and other content creators. Jacksepticeye expressed his condolences and said, "Wishing your family strength." FaZe Kalei likewise sent well wishes to Pokimane and her loved ones, and a number of people told her that she didn't need to hurry back to streaming until she was ready. Losing a family member is always a difficult thing, and luckily Pokimane's fanbase and colleagues seem more than willing to give her all the time she needs.

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