"We do not have a blanket ban on the use of words like “simp” in casual banter, but will take action when words like this (amongst others) are used to harass and harm community members," Twitch posted via Twitter on 17th December.
This comes after a massive backlash from the streaming community once Twitch announced that simp, among many other words, would be treated "derogatory words" not being allowed on the platform.
Sara Clemens (right), Twitch's COO, during Twitch's Town Hall stream (Picture: Twitch)
Sara Clemens, Twitch's Chief Operating Officer, added in her statement that the company would go as far as taking down any emotes referencing simps, which fueled the narrative that using the term would lead to an immediate ban, or at the very least a warning from the company.
Simp refers to people, specifically men, who are seen as too attentive and submissive to women, to a point where it can be considered an obsession. In recent times, the word has lost its meaning due to being overused online, and big streamers are showing their concerns regarding Twitch's stance.
Harass and harm are vague and subjective terms that open the door for selective enforcement— Zack (@Asmongold) December 18, 2020
If harassing and harming people is against the ToS already, then why attach words to its enforcement if the words can be used in an innocuous context?
"If harassing and harming people is against the ToS already, then why attach words to its enforcement if the words can be used in an innocuous context?" renowned twitch streamer Asmongold tweeted out.
A valid point indeed, while it's good Twitch takes a solid stand against hateful conduct with their new guidelines, leaving to interpretation whether a user employs terms like simp in a derogatory way or as a joke is a risk that could lead the company to even bigger issues down the line.
Case in point, JustaMinx's recent ban. The Twitch partner received an email confirming her 7-day ban was due to using "hateful slurs," later confirming she used simp, incel, and virgin during her latest broadcast.
Was she using those words maliciously? Probably not, however, Twitch made a judgment call and enforced the new guidelines regardless.
Just to be safe, if you're a content creator, simply avoid the words until Twitch gets its act together.