Twitch has announced significant changes to its hateful conduct and harassment policy, in order to take a more “clearer and consistent” stance when issuing bans.
The streaming platform’s new rules, outlined in a blog post, go into effect from 22nd January 2021 - with any content created after this date to be evaluated under the new guidelines.
The new additions are broken down into three categories (harassment, hateful conduct, and sexual harassment), and include prohibiting the Confederate flag due to its “historic and symbolic association with slavery and white supremacist groups in the US”.
Emote combinations can now be classed under hateful conduct if used maliciously too.
Unwelcome compliments or comments on someone’s looks will also be flagged, along with “lewd or explicit comments about anyone’s sexuality or physical appearance”.
Twitch’s implementation of these rules will also be assessed on a case-by-case basis, so they can hope to match the severity of the action with a suitable punishment.
The company wrote: “This iteration of our guidelines is also much more detailed, with enforcements tailored to the severity of the action or language.
“As a result, behaviours that are relatively low in severity, or language commonly viewed as being colloquial, will receive warnings or lighter suspensions, while more malicious or overtly harmful behaviours and language will receive stricter penalties - the most severe violations will continue to receive an indefinite suspension on the first offense.
“In total, we expect that the penalties under this iteration of the policy will scale more appropriately to the severity of the violative behaviour.”
Twitch has made steps this year to making its content creators and community safer, including the creation of the Twitch Safety Advisory Council in May - although how effective they've been so far has faced some scrutiny.
The changes in this policy are set to be discussed during a Creator Camp stream on Friday 11th December.
You can check out a breakdown of the new additions to the hateful conduct and harassment policy below.
Twitch changes to hateful conduct and harassment policy
- Claiming that the victim of a well-documented violent tragedy is a crisis actor, or is lying
- Encouraging others to DDoS, hack, doxx, or swat another person
- Inciting malicious raids of another person’s social media profiles off Twitch
- Emotes are an important part of how we communicate with one another on Twitch, but they can be used maliciously. So emote combinations, even without additional text used in chat, will be held to this policy
- Given its historic and symbolic association with slavery and white supremacist groups in the US, displaying the Confederate flag is prohibited
- Repeatedly commenting on someone’s perceived attractiveness, even in what you believe to be a positive or complimentary manner, is prohibited if there is indication that it’s unwelcome (i.e. you’ve been asked to stop, timed-out, or channel-banned)
- Making lewd or explicit comments about anyone’s sexuality or physical appearance is prohibited. Note that we do not make an exception for public figures
- Sending unwanted/unsolicited links to nude images or videos is prohibited