Twitch is cracking down on harassment — both on and off the platform.
The livestreaming video platform announced an update to its community guidelines in a blog post on Thursday, writing, “Hate simply has no place in the Twitch community.”
Conduct Twitch deems to be “hateful” will see users suspended immediately and indefinitely. But it’s not just targeting harassment on the platform. The company “will now consider verifiable hateful or harassing conduct that takes place off-Twitch when making moderation decisions for actions that occur 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 post read.
A Twitch spokesperson told Mashable that this doesn’t mean they’ll be monitoring other platforms per se, it just means that when filing a report, “users can provide documentation that illustrates harassment from any source, but we will only factor in instances if we can personally verify them.”
Twitch is also updating its moderation framework in regard to sexual content — as opposed to prohibited pornographic content. Twitch said this is particularly intended to protect creators who are being harassed for how they look or dress.
“Hate simply has no place in the Twitch community”
Moderators will pay attention to what users wear, saying attire worn in streams “should be appropriate for a public street, mall, or restaurant,” which is Twitch’s already established dress code. But, importantly, Twitch reminded users that they should not use this policy as a means to harass other users.
“For example, in the event a streamer is reported for sexual content, we will take a holistic look at the channel that factors in a number of elements such as the stream title, camera angles, emotes, panels, attire, overlays, and chat moderation,” said Twitch’s spokesperson.
“Therefore, if someone takes issue with a streamer simply because they are attractive or their attire, this approach will hone in on the actual intent of the creator … Collectively these steps will mitigate issues with people who use other platforms to harass our community and those who are harassing people based on how they look.”
Twitch has gradually loosened its restrictions on non-gaming content, to music, fitness, and general IRL culture videos. “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. “We were too slow to act.”
Twitch already has pretty robust and , as well a full suite of moderation tools, and they employ human moderators to respond to user reports. Broadcasters can set chat rules and ban specific words or even individuals from their chat, and they can assign human moderators from their community, or use the machine learning AutoMod tool to identify and block inappropriate content within the chat.
Nonetheless, the full changes will go into effect on Monday, Feb 19. Users must remove clips that violate the new guidelines before then — and Twitch will be working with streamers whose past content may violate them.