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Twitch tightens community guidelines to combat hateful conduct and sexual harassment

Twitch tightens community guidelines to combat hateful conduct and sexual harassment

The streaming service explained that "Twitch began with a single core idea: stream video games online", however loosening restrictions on non-gaming content past year meant the rules which once governed Twitch are now not strong or clear enough. "Over the past several months, you've told us certain sections of our Community Guidelines were not clear enough, or, in some cases, not strong enough to govern this ever-changing landscape", Twitch wrote, explaining its need to update its policies and moderation processes to meet this new type of content. Women wearing revealing clothes often face disproportionate levels of harassment and accusations that they are "titty streamers" using their bodies to garner views and donation. The first, titled "pornography and other sexually explicit conduct" prohibits "any content or activity involving pornography, sexual intercourse, or adult services".

Twitch laid it all down in a blog post Friday, Feb. 9.

Further regulation on sexuality and presentation is being updated as follows: "Attire in gaming streams, most at-home streams, and all profile/channel imagery should be appropriate for a public street, mall, or restaurant". Twitch would also like to remind viewers that this policy does not give them the right to harass streamers whether they think rules are being broken or not.

In a dark, blue-lit room last December, a man known as MetaphorSX was live-streaming World of Warcraft on Twitch and, during a break, chose to rate female Twitch streamers along with his viewers. The latest guidelines released on February 8th look to tackle the "booby streamer" by enforcing stricter rules looking at contextual elements such as the stream title, camera angles, emotes, panels, attire, overlays, and chat moderation.

Previously, Twitch's guidelines maintained that "nudity and conduct involving overtly sexual behavior and/or attire" is prohibited, but the revised rules now advise against "attire meant to be sexually suggestive".

"We want everyone to not only feel welcome on Twitch, but to be proud to be part of the community", reads the blog.

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In addition to these measures, the blog outlines a new policy towards harassment. Twitch stated that any harassment of female streamers - on- or off-platform - can result in an indefinite ban. In doing this, Twitch grew its fan base to new places, even having more of an audience than HBO or Netflix.

Twitch is cracking down on harassment - both on and off the platform.

The full details of these changes are included in Twitch's landing pages for harassment and sexual conduct policy.

The second big change is to sexual content guidelines.

"We will now consider verifiable hateful or harassing conduct that takes place off-Twitch when making moderation decisions for actions that occur on Twitch", Twitch said.

An anti-harassment and hateful conduct policy has been added to ensure that all Twitch streamers feel welcome on the platform. The company announced today that its new rules will kick into effect on February 19th at 9AM PT - time meant to give users enough warning to remove any clips or videos on demand that violate new guidelines. Streamers must remove all clips and videos that break policy or risk potential action against their accounts. Now there are two sexual content guidelines on Twitch's community guidelines. "Today's updates are a major step forward and are just the beginning of our work".


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