Twitch clears up misunderstanding on banned terms after backlash

Fariha Bhatti • December 18, 15:45

Twitch’s updated harassment policy that banned the usage of words like virgin, incel, and simp was met with heavy criticism. The live-streaming platform has finally stepped forward to clarify this misunderstanding regarding the new policy. 

Twitch has managed to stay in the spotlight throughout 2020 for recurring drama among streamers. However, this time the platform was directly subjected to criticism due to its new policy regarding the use of certain words when a ban on internet slang was judged as unnecessary by many Twitch streamers and personalities.

Twitch has revealed that it does not have a “blanket ban,” and that context is taken into consideration. 

According to the release, the platform will not be instantly banning viewers who use offensive terms and emotes. It seems that Twitch will be keeping a closer eye on user intentions by evaluating the use of prohibited words. For example, using the word “simp” on its own won’t lead to enforcement, but the same term used with an intention to harass a streamer will result in a ban. 

“Our policy prohibits the use of terms like “simp,” “incel” or “virgin” specifically when they are being used to negatively refer to another person’s sexual practices,” Twitch said.

The Amazon-owned platform has geared up to wipe out the toxicity by taking smaller details into account. Twitch will evaluate the implication of offensive terms and harassment through the reaction of the streamer. The platform will base the decision of a ban on time-outs and reports rendered by the streamer or by mods, and not solely on the use of prohibited terms. This update will ensure that people feel free to express themselves in the chat section without the fear of being banned, according to Twitch. 

The live streaming platform has released the updated a month before the implementation so that the users may read it thoroughly. The new policy will come into effect from 22nd January.

Is DMCA still a problem on Twitch?

The internet is divided on the recent Twitch harassment policy, but stands united on the DMCA issue. 2020 saw many Twitch streamers lose thousands of VODs and many years of hard work due to DMCA strikes, and Twitch still hasn’t been able to come up with a viable solution. During this stressful time, a ban on silly slang words has angered streamers and viewers alike. 

It seems that Twitch’s clarification is doing more harm than good, as DMCA turmoil still looms over stressed streamers hit with the strikes. 

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