There has been a lot of controversy around Twitch's new Community Guidelines, revealed earlier this week, and prompting outrage after comments made by Twitch‘s Chief Operating Officer, Sara Clemens, were interpreted as meaning that Twitch was set to ban the word "simp", among others, from the platform.
Twitch would later explain that you can still use them as friendly banter.
What is true is that once the new rules take effect next year, a number of "derogatory statements" will not be allowed anymore and it will result in a ban for both streamers and viewers alike.
In the same section that talks about the usage of words such as "whore" and "simp", there's another rule that has sparked controversy.
LMAO we know why Twitch added this to their ToS..... pic.twitter.com/tUh49saolT— jessix (Vegeta stan) (@jessix_tv) December 19, 2020
The section is called "making derogatory statements about another person’s perceived sexual practices or sexual morality", and it contains these four specific rules:
- Alleging that a person is sexually immoral due to their attire or physical appearance
- Stating that a person’s attire reflects negatively on their sexual practices
- Suggesting that a person’s channel is only popular or has not been banned due to sexual favours.
- Repeatedly negatively targeting another person with sexually-focused terms, such as ‘whore’ or ‘virgin’
The third rule, which talks about accusations of sexual favours, is oddly specific and that's not a coincidence.
Sections of the Twitch community, both streamers and viewers, have long held the belief that Twitch staff show favour to female streamers, whether that be with a light touch when facing suspension or being fast-tracked for partnership.
These accusations often include the suggestion that the favoured streamers have got into sexual relationships with power brokers in an attempt to further their career.
Pokimane is often the target of misogynistic attacks. (Picture: Pokimane)
The usual targets of these accusations are some of the biggest female streamers on the platform, like Pokimane and Alinity, who, in the eyes of some, escape bans for serious offences, while "controversial" streamers like Forsen are being banned for more than a month for similar infractions.
The suggestion that certain female streamers receive "favour" is not entirely unfounded but the target of the ire is misplaced. In September of this year Hassan Bokhari, Twitch's Partnership Director, was fired after allegations emerged that he was soliciting nudes from partnered streamers, this isn't the case of streamers throwing themselves at Twitch staff for favour, but a man, who wields power over anyone who uses the platform making entirely inappropriate requests.
Twitch's new Community Guidelines are set to come into effect on 22nd January, a Creator Camp on the 20th to further explain the new rules.