Did Twitch update its ToS to protect itself from accusations?
Twitch's recent changes to their Terms of Service mostly targeted sexism and harassment. The policy change included banning the words "simp" and "incel" from the streaming platform. For a while, this became the main target of the streaming community's beef with Twitch, with the words actually being used more than ever before after the announcement. But Twitch users recently noticed another change to the harassment policy that has also garnered hate for the company.
One Twitter user highlighted the two changes, which stated that people can no longer tell a streamer their channel is only popular or left unbanned due to "sexual favors." She joked that the Twitch community was well aware of why this was slipped into the ToS, hinting that Twitch employees were the ones who actually felt under attack.
LMAO we know why Twitch added this to their ToS..... pic.twitter.com/tUh49saolT— jessix (Vegeta stan) (@jessix_tv) December 19, 2020
Twitch has long been under fire for the inconsistency in their punishments. It seemed as though popular female streamers known for their suggestive content often escaped harsh punishments. Sometimes they weren't banned at all for offenses that left other streamers with suspended accounts.
Streamers like Kaitlyn "Amouranth" Siragusa, with over 1 million followers, were only banned for a few days after NSFW wardrobe malfunctions. This led many in the streaming community to believe that Twitch employees didn't want to see Amouranth banned either for monetary reasons or because Twitch employees wanted to continue watching her suggestive content.
God Twitch staff are unironically mega simps— MONKEY ❁ (@monkeymonkeyape) December 19, 2020
Twitch employee fired for sexual misconduct
Twitch has been accused in the past of not taking sexual harassment seriously. Because of the nonchalant ways that the CEO has dealt with harassment towards female employees and female content creators, it's been theorized that Twitch has a possibly misogynist environment where employees give special treatment towards streamers they find attractive.
In September, a Twitch employee named Hassan Bokhari was fired following sexual misconduct allegations. The former director of strategic partnership was accused by several victims of using his position of power to manipulate them into sexual favors. Bokhari was also accused of ignoring accusations against male streamers who asked fans for nude photos.
Some the accusations made against Bokhari seem eerily similar to the new text in Twitch's ToS, which states that it's banworthy for viewers to "suggest a person's channel is only popular or has not been banned due to sexual favors."
Twitch gave a statement to reporter Rod "Slasher" Breslau regarding Bokhari's actions.
“We take accusations extremely seriously, and we engaged a reputable third-party firm to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations. While it is our policy to keep individual employment information confidential, the investigation has concluded and we have taken action in accordance with the investigators’ findings," Twitch said.
While Twitch may well have added this line to their ToS to stop female streamers from getting harassed about their suggestive clothing or content, some have alluded that it seems more likely that Twitch added it to cover their own actions.
There have been many times where popular female streamer Imane "Pokimane" Inys has shown something inappropriate only to be given a few days suspension, or nothing at all. Meanwhile, men who have shown suggestive clips nowhere near as explicit as Pokimane's are banned indefinitely. Popular female streamer Natalia "Alinity" Mogollon had to beg Twitch to ban her after accidentally exposing herself. Meanwhile, men who have shared sexy Instagram photos faced immediate consequences.
Twitch has never made it clear how they choose the duration of some streamers' bans versus others. But this addition to their ToS doesn't help the company's case.
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