Streaming platform Twitch has updated its hateful conduct and harassment policy.
As detailed in the announcement, the new guidelines will come into effect on January 22nd, 2021. On or after that date, all content creators on Twitch will be expected to adhere to the new rules.
"We know that many people on Twitch–particularly women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Black, Indigenous, and people of colour – unfortunately, continue to experience a disproportionate amount of harassment and abuse online, including on our service," said Twitch.
"Not only is this blatantly unacceptable, it also undermines the community we're building on Twitch and threatens the long term viability of streaming as a career for everyone who wishes to pursue it.
Time to learn
Twitch has claimed that the changes are for the protection of the community and are "not to be punitive." Therefore, the company has shared the updated policy ahead of time, to give content creators a chance to become familiar with the new guidelines before they come into effect next year.
"We developed the new policy to take a clearer and more consistent stance against hate and harassment and to give you greater insight on what is and isn't acceptable on Twitch. Hateful conduct and harassment have always been prohibited, but we've added more detail explaining the behaviours that fall into these categories," said Twitch
"We've also added specific examples to help you understand how the policy is applied in practice."
The new policy has updated rules regarding harassment, hateful conduct and sexual harassment. Previously, misconduct of a sexual nature fell under regular harassment policies. However, it has now been given its own category.
When it comes to sexual harassment, Twitch has "adopted a much lower tolerance for objectifying or harassing behaviour."
Going forward, Twitch users can not get away with unwanted advances, explicit comments or asking for nude images. When it comes to regular harassment, people are prohibited from encouraging DDoS attacks, malicious raids on social media and "claiming that the victim of a well-documented violent tragedy is a crisis actor, or is lying."
Furthermore, any misconduct in regards to race, gender, sexual orientation or disability will be considered hateful conduct.
Recently, Twitch removed the "blind playthrough" tag to encourage the use of inclusive language.