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Twitch Community Guidelines Updates

Feb 8 2018

New enhancements to our community guidelines

To our Twitch community,

Today, we’re sharing an update to our Community Guidelines. This is just the first of many improvements coming to the policies, moderation processes, and safety features on Twitch.

We use our Community Guidelines to keep the community strong and safe. These guidelines detail the content supported on Twitch, rules for streamers and viewers, and much more. Our goal is to ensure Twitch is a place where everyone feels welcome and we will continue to listen to you as we grow and adapt these policies as needed.

The story so far

Twitch began with a single core idea: stream video games online. That simple hook attracted viewers, but they stuck around because you, the streamers, built communities. You built a place viewers felt welcome, a place they could turn to for laughter, gameplay, or friendship. And, as you began to inject more of your personality and interests, you told us you wanted the freedom to create content when you weren’t gaming. So, last year, we loosened our restrictions on non-gaming content.

This let you bring as much of your life to Twitch as you wanted. It let you broaden your community or build new communities in areas like board gaming, talk shows, Creative, music, fitness, and IRL (to name just a few). By sharing yourself on Twitch, you let Twitch become part of your life, and we’re grateful for that privilege.

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. And we were too slow to act. To begin addressing this, we’re rolling out a series of updates to the policies, moderation processes, and products that guide interpersonal interaction on Twitch.

Today’s update focuses on our anti-harassment and sexual content policies. Our goal is to increase clarity, strength, and consistency across our entire moderation framework, as well as the frequency and level of detail of our moderation communications.

You helped us build Twitch — you ARE Twitch — and it’s our job to make you proud of the Twitch community.

Anti-harassment and hateful conduct policies

We want everyone to not only feel welcome on Twitch, but to be proud to be part of the community. To that end, we are strengthening our stance on harassment and hate.

First, conduct we deem to be hateful will result in an immediate indefinite suspension. Hate simply has no place in the Twitch community.

Additionally, we will now consider verifiable harassing conduct that takes place off-Twitch when making moderation decisions for actions that occur on Twitch. If you use other services to direct harassment towards someone on Twitch, we will consider it a violation of Twitch’s policies.

We are also updating our moderation framework to pay close attention to the context and intent in addition to the words or actions used. Please remember, even if you’re just joking with your friends, you’re still choosing to stream on a service that reaches a large audience.

Sexual content

Twitch is an open global community with users of many ages and cultures. Because of this, it’s important that your content is not sexual in nature. We’re updating our moderation framework to review your conduct in its entirety when evaluating if the intent is to be sexually suggestive. We’ll be looking at contextual elements such as the stream title, camera angles, emotes, panels, attire, overlays, and chat moderation. Offering access to prohibited sexual content such as “lewds” on Twitch remains prohibited.

Attire in gaming streams, most at-home streams, and all profile/channel imagery should be appropriate for a public street, mall, or restaurant. As a reminder, we will not tolerate using this policy as a basis to harass streamers on or off Twitch, regardless of whether you think they’re breaking this rule.

The transition period

The full changes are available in the revised Community Guidelines. You can read some examples and learn even more about how these changes may affect you in our corresponding help articles on anti-harassment and sexual content.

These new rules will go into effect on Monday, March 5th, 9:00 am Pacific Time. Until then, we’ll continue operating under the former Community Guidelines. You must remove Clips and VODs that violate the new guidelines before they go into effect.

During the transition period, we’ll be reaching out to some streamers whose current and past content may violate these new guidelines to help you be successful on Twitch. Our goal is to ensure everyone understands and adheres to the updated Community Guidelines so you can keep creating content for your communities.

A Better Twitch for Everyone

Guiding the community is an enormous responsibility and one we take to heart. Today’s updates are a major step forward and are just the beginning of our work. We’re committed to making you all feel welcome on Twitch and we will be increasing the frequency of communication, policy updates, and products to support this mission.

In the coming months, we will also be revisiting our enforcement policies for both partners and non-partners, our appeals process, IRL guidelines, and preventing user-to-user harassment. You can also expect significant improvements to AutoMod, Twitch’s automated chat moderation system.

Every day, tens of thousands of our streamers press the “Go Live” button and create amazing shared experiences for their communities. Whichever side of the screen you’re on, thank you for making Twitch the special place it is. We will continue doing our part to make Twitch even better.

Thank you,

Twitch

FAQ Update:

What does Twitch consider hateful conduct?

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:

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.

What do I do about people being harassing or hateful in my chat while I’m offline or AFK?

We ask that streamers make a good faith effort to moderate their chat with tools like AutoMod, building a moderation team, and/or by utilizing the numerous third party tools available.

So long as you are not turning a blind eye to content or conduct that violates the Community Guidelines, you should feel confident that no punitive actions will be taken on your channel.

Learn more with our How to Manage Harassment in Chat help article.

What should I do about viewers exploiting elements of my stream like text-to-speech to harass, be hateful, or post sexual content?

As a streamer, you are responsible for the content on your stream. Twitch asks you to make a good faith effort to moderate interactive elements of your stream such as setting a word filter or a notification delay to give yourself a chance to moderate incoming notifications. Ultimately, you will have to decide what steps are right for your stream and your community’s behavior in order to abide by the Community Guidelines. Remember to temporarily disable or mute any unmoderated interactive elements such as text-to-speech if you step away from your computer.

To what extent am I responsible for my community?

Creators are role models and leaders of the communities they create or foster around them. Creators should consider the consequences of their statements and actions of their audiences; we ask that you make a good faith effort to quell any efforts from those in your community to harass others.

Twitch should not be used to incite, encourage, promote, facilitate, or organize hateful conduct or harassment, whether on or off Twitch. We will suspend communities, organizations, and individuals that do so.

Learn More with our article on Hateful Conduct & Harassment.

Why is Twitch moderating off-Twitch conduct?

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.

How is Twitch moderating off-Twitch conduct?

Reporters of harassment must submit links to evidence with their report.

The moderation team will only take action if:

Twitch will not actively monitor other websites or services for violations of our Community Guidelines, nor will we be acting on off-Twitch content created prior to March 5, 2018.

Learn more about our policies on hateful conduct or harassment.

What clothing is appropriate for my stream?

Given the variety of content and activities creators engage in, an explicit dress code would be unreasonably restrictive. Streaming is a public activity that reaches a global audience of many ages and cultures, and as such we prohibit nudity and sexual conduct. When evaluating reports for sexual conduct, attire is just one factor we will use in making a determination on whether conduct is acceptable.

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.

Learn more about guidelines on Nudity & Attire.

I’m an artist and I want to paint a nude portrait not intended to be sexual. Can I stream my nude figure drawing?

As we do not yet provide sufficient tools for viewers to limit their exposure to nudity and mature content, artistic and educational nudity are not allowed. We are working on ways to make this possible in the future.

What about activities such as body painting and dancing?

Body painting, dancing, and other creative activities that do not violate our policies are welcome on Twitch. If flagged as potential sexually suggestive content, we will consider the context and intent of the content to determine whether the reported conduct violates our policies.

Learn more about our policies on Suggestive Content.

What is the policy on retroactive enforcement of content on Twitch created prior to March 5, 2018? Am I expected to delete everything?

Starting March 5th, 2018, all content on the site is subject to the new guidelines. We expect creators to make a good faith effort to remove any hateful, harassing, and sexually suggestive content from their channel.

However, if reported, content that violates the new guidelines and that was created before the new guidelines come into effect will be removed without suspension, but we reserve the right to exercise discretion on severe violations. For information about how to review and delete individual Clips and VODs, check out their respective help.twitch.tv articles: How to Manage Clips & VOD on Twitch.

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