On February 8th, Twitch released a blog post highlighting their new community guidelines that will have taken place on March 5th, 2018.
Twitch’s new community guidelines address the “Hateful Conduct and Harassment” side of their rules, creating new rules and adjusting old rules.
Here is a rundown on the new and adjusted Twitch Guidelines.
Hateful conduct is any content or activity that promotes, encourages, or facilitates discrimination, denigration, objectification, harassment, or violence based on the following characteristics, and is strictly prohibited:
- Race, ethnicity, or national origin
- Sex, Gender or Gender Identity
- Sexual Orientation
- Disability or Medical Condition
- Physical Characteristics
- Veteran Status.
Twitch will now consider numerous factors to determine the intent and context of any reported hateful conduct. In addition, any activity on a Twitch account associated with this will “receive an indefinite suspension without warning”.
Of course, these kinds of behaviours were never allowed and should never be allowed on Twitch. But, Twitch is now issuing first-time offenders indefinite bans. It’s a complete 180 from their previous warning/temporary ban system.
Streamers reactions to new Twitch Guidelines.
Punishments for streamers communities and off-Twitch content
Where things start to get interesting is that Twitch streamers are now responsible for their communities as well as what they say off Twitch, such as on social media and during fan meetups.
Twitch streamers can now be punished for what their fan base/following does, as creators are seen as role models. They explain that “Creators should consider the consequences of their statements and actions of their audience.”
Twitch also comments on text-to-speech donations and sub notifications saying that notification delays or word filters will limit the number of hate comments. Twitch also said that “you will have to decide what steps are right for your stream and your community’s behaviour.”
As Twitch announces that they are now moderating off-Twitch conduct, questions were asked and Twitch gave their answers. The Twitch moderation team will only be able to take action if:
- The links provided are verifiable
- The content can be directly tied to the reported Twitch user
- The target of harassment is another Twitch user, group of Twitch user or Twitch employees
- The moderation team determines the conduct violates Twitch policies
Twitch also states that they will not actively monitor other websites for service violation, and will work solely based off of user reports.
Some members of the community have stated that this gives Twitch trolls too much power and will be able to effectively shut down other streams by rallying people to harass streamers by claiming to be apart of a community, therefore getting that streamer banned.
Twitch also touched up on the body painting scene of Twitch as well as clothing. Now, Twitch officially allows body painting on their platform. However, Twitch does not allow nudity in creative/artistic and educational content. Clothing wise, Twitch has clarified their outlines on clothing during a stream, and all its contexts.
If a streamer is at the beach during an IRL stream, they are allowed to wear beach attire. Also, workout clothes for a gym stream. Of course, streamers will need to cover up for regular streams.
Twitch’s FAQ for the guidelines.
This all said, make sure you form your own opinion and ideas on the matter and read through the guidelines carefully.
You can follow Will Dube on Twitter @JustHuuu