Twitch Releases, Then Backtracks on Sexual Content Policy Update

Twitch Releases, Then Backtracks on Sexual Content Policy Update

News by Roberto Orosa
Published: December 18, 2023

Streaming platform Twitch quickly backtracked and reversed its decision to allow more nudity just two days after announcing the policy change.

The initial update was intended to support the thriving artist community on the platform, but Twitch CEO Dan Clancy revealed that several streamers violated the new policy, which caused the rollback.

"Moving forward, depictions of real or fictional nudity won’t be allowed on Twitch, regardless of the medium," Clancy wrote in a blog post.

The CEO also cited the difficulty in distinguishing between digital art and realistic images generated by AI as a reason for the reversal. "Digital depictions of nudity present a unique challenge—AI can be used to create realistic images, and it can be hard to distinguish between digital art and photography," he added.

Why Twitch Changed Its Content Policy

Twitch changed its policies surrounding sexual content because it realized that the old rules were confusing for users.

Complaints from streamers about the ambiguity of guidelines led to a consolidation of policies under Twitch's community guidelines.

The previous rules, particularly those addressing content highlighting body parts even when fully clothed, were deemed confusing, which led to unfair penalization for female streamers.

To address the confusion, Twitch introduced a new sexual content policy, allowing some previously restricted content but with the requirement of appropriate Content Classification Labels (CCLs).

These labels allow labeled content to be visible while preventing mature content from being promoted on the homepage, ensuring users have control over their viewing experience.

Twitch Chief Customer Trust Officer Angela Hession emphasized the importance of accurate content labeling to align Twitch's policy with other social media services. Failure to label sexual content may result in warnings, though not suspensions.

Automatic application of labels and potential temporary locks for repeated failure to label content is part of the enforcement strategy.

After Twitch pushed out updates to its community guidelines to reflect the changes, Clancy expressed regret for any confusion caused by the sudden policy adjustments.

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