Twitch is tightening its policies around harassment and sexual behavior


Twitch is enacting stricter policies in the interest of curbing harassment and sexually suggestive behavior. The company announced today that its new rules will kick into effect on February 19th at 9AM PT — time intended to give users enough warning to remove any clips or videos on demand that violate new guidelines. “During the transition period, we’ll be reaching out to some streamers whose current and past content may violate these new guidelines to help you be successful on Twitch,” the company says. “Our goal is to ensure everyone understands and adheres to the updated Community Guidelines so you can keep creating content for your communities.”

Under the platform’s new guidelines, any behavior deemed “hateful” will result in indefinite suspension; Twitch currently has guidelines on what constitutes hateful behavior on its site. Users should also be aware that Twitch will now take harassment that occurs off its platform into account when moderating actions on Twitch. “If you use other services to direct hate or harassment towards someone on Twitch, we will consider it a violation of Twitch’s policies,” the company says. Context and intent for words and actions taken by any user also matter. “Please remember, even if you’re just joking with your friends, you’re still choosing to stream on a service that reaches a large audience.”

The update is likely to affect many streamers who currently have huge followings. Just this week, popular streamer Dr Disrespect was called out for racist caricatures.

Moderators will also start cracking down on content that is “sexually suggestive,” the company says, by taking into account elements such as stream title, camera angles, attire, chat moderation, and more. “Attire in gaming streams, most at-home streams, and all profile/channel imagery should be appropriate for a public street, mall, or restaurant,” the company says. “As a reminder, we will not tolerate using this policy as a basis to harass streamers on or off Twitch, regardless of whether you think they’re breaking this rule.”

Twitch promises more updates in the coming months. “We will also be revisiting our enforcement policies for both partners and non-partners, our appeals process, IRL guidelines, and preventing user-to-user harassment,” the announcement reads. “You can also expect significant improvements to AutoMod, Twitch’s automated chat moderation system.”

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