June 13, 2024

Twitch has streamlined its sexual content policies to make them less confusing–especially for women on the platform.

Instead of having two separate policies in the community guidelines for sexually suggestive and sexually explicit content, as well as an additional section in the Content Classification Guidelines to address sexual content, the rules are nowall being clubbed under a single Sexual Content Policy.

The updated policy is more lax in what’s allowed on the platform—albeit with proper disclaimers.

The new do’s and don’ts of sexual content on Twitch

✅ Content that “deliberately highlighted breasts, buttocks or pelvic region” is allowed with the appropriate label

✅ Fictionalized (drawn, animated, or sculpted) fully exposed female-presenting breasts and/or genitals or buttocks regardless of gender is allowed with labels. “There is a thriving artist community on Twitch, and this policy was overly punitive and did not reflect the impact of the content,” Hession wrote.

✅ Body writing on female-presenting breasts and/or buttocks regardless of gender, as long as Twitch’s attire policy is adhered to, is allowed with labels

✅ Twerking, grinding, and pole dancing are now allowed without a label.

🚫 Fictionalized sexual acts or masturbation remain prohibited

🚫 Erotic dances and the like streamed inside of an adult entertainment establishment are not allowed

Content Classification Labels

In June, Twitch launched Content Classification Labels (CCL) to let streamers warn users if their stream contains sexual themes, gambling, vulgarity, or other mature content. With appropriate labeling of sexual content using CCLs available now, “we believe that some of the restrictions in our former policies are no longer required,” Angela Hession, Twitch’s chief customer trust officer, wrote in a blogpost yesterday (Dec. 14). The updates will “reduce the risk of inconsistent enforcement and bring our policy more in line with other social media services,” she added.

The Amazon-owned streaming platform will ease up on outright bans. Going forward, failure to label sexual content can result in penalties, like warnings, but not suspensions, Hession wrote. Twitch will automatically apply labels to sexual content missing labels—and repeated lapses in labeling content could result in a label “temporarily locked onto the stream.”

Female Twitch streamer bans

Not only were some of the earlier restrictions subjective, they were also “out of line with industry standards and resulted in female-presenting streamers being disproportionately penalized,” Hession argued. For example, on Dec. 11, Twitch banned streamer and OnlyFans model Morgpie three days after she went viral for supposedly being naked in her streams—but she didn’t explicitly show anything more than her bare shoulders, upper chest, and cleavage.

“Nobody is breaking the terms of service. Me standing here like this, it’s just my shoulders,” Morgpie, who’s fully clothed in a tube top and jeans in the behind-the-scenes video of her “topless meta” content, told Dextero. “It’s just the implied nudity that really freaks people out, I guess.”

Several other female streamers have been baffled that they’ve faced punitive action for “sexually suggestive” content for things like cosplaying, wearing a sports bra to the gym, or wearing a dress that their nipples show through.

Kaitlyn “Amouranth” Siragusa, who gained immense popularity with her divisive hot tub streams, said Twitch indefinitely cut off her advertising revenue without warning or exact reason in May 2021. “This is an ALARMING precedent and serves as a stark warning that although content may not ostensibly break community guidelines or Terms of service, Twitch has complete discretion to target individual channels & partially or wholly demonetized them for,” she tweeted at the time.

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