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New Twitch Guidelines Tackle Harassment, Dress Code, Off-Stream Creator Behavior, And More

Twitch announced in February that much-needed changes to community guidelines were on the way. The media platform has been taking regular steps to improve their community and these specific changes are aimed at harassment, something Ubisoft addressed in a major way with their Rainbow Six Siege community. Revealed today, Twitch's new guidelines tackle hateful speech, off-Twitch behavior, dress code, and much more.

Addressing hateful conduct is the foundation of the new community guidelines and is broken down as follows:

Hateful conduct is any content or activity that promotes, encourages, or facilitates discrimination, denigration, objectification, harassment, or violence based on the following characteristics, and is strictly prohibited:
  • Race, ethnicity, or national origin
  • Religion
  • Sex, Gender, or Gender Identity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Age
  • Disability or Medical Condition
  • Physical Characteristics
  • Veteran Status
Twitch will consider a number of factors to determine the intent and context of any reported hateful conduct. You can read more on Twitch’s harassment and hateful conduct policies in our Learn More article.

One significant element of the new guidelines is the responsibility placed upon the streamer. There are different features that allow for text-to-speech messages to be played during a stream and it looks like, if it breaks the new guidelines, the creator will be held accountable. No longer can creators get by with blaming those that decide to support them, it seems. Creators and their mods will have to make an active effort to eliminate the hateful activity that takes place during streams. And Twitch suggests the use of auto-mods when it comes to the chat when the creator is offline or AFK.

Off-Twitch conduct is being monitored as well and is sure to spark a bit of controversy. Here’s the official statement on why they’re taking this stance:

We recognize that harassment against Twitch community members can sometimes originate from off-Twitch conduct. Our desire to moderate verifiable off-Twitch harassment stems from our belief that ignoring conduct when we are able to verify and attribute it to a Twitch account compromises one of our most important goals: every Twitch user can bring their whole authentic selves to the Twitch community without fear of harassment.

Also, Twitch has decided to address the oft-discussed dress code of Twitch streamers. Reports of sexual conduct will be investigated but the additional info will likely leave a lot to be interpreted on a case by case basis:

We recommend creators wear attire that would be publicly appropriate for the context, location, and activity they are broadcasting. For example, workout clothes would be appropriate for a fitness stream and a swimsuit would be appropriate for a stream from a public beach.

The full community guideline update can be found on the Twitch blog, but what do you think so far? Give us your take in Chatty and let us know if you think it will be enough.

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