Twitch doubled down on problematic language earlier this week, and the streaming community wasn’t having it.
As part of the streaming platform’s updated harassment policy, the use of “simp,” “virgin,” and “incel” were declared ban-worthy offenses when used as an insult. Twitch COO Sarah Clemens explained that the phrases were being banned since Twitch prohibits “derogatory statements” aimed at another person’s sexual preferences and the negative use of “sexually-focused terms.”
The Twitch community immediately revolted, forcing the streaming service to clear up its policy regarding the popular slang words.
“We do not have a blanket ban on the use of words like ‘simp’ in casual banter, but will take action when words like this (amongst others) are used to harass and harm community members,” Twitch tweeted.
We wanted to clear up any misunderstandings about language that can be used on Twitch. At the core of it, we’re focused on doing what we can to protect our community from harassment.
— Twitch (@Twitch) December 18, 2020
It seems like Twitch’s continued explanation of the ban on “simp” and other similar insults hasn’t been enough to stop the ridicule. In fact, Twitch users have decided to revolt against Twitch’s harassment policy and are now using the terms more than ever. According to Stream Hatchet, the word “simp” has seen double the usage since the platform announced the terms of service update.
On December 16, the amount of times that “simp” was used in a chat was 97% higher than the average of the previous 15 days. The “simp” ban was announced the day prior.
Before the announcement, chats mentioning “simp” averaged 71,000 a day. That skyrocketed to an incredible 140,000 uses the day after Twitch announced that “simp” was a bannable word. On Reddit, Twitch users joked about calling simps “Twitch” instead, since the streaming platform would never ban that word for obvious reasons.
Simp is a more modern term for the “overly nice guy” phenomenon. A simp is someone who attempts to attract the attention of someone they have a crush on by putting on an act or doing favors. The term rose in popularity when popular female streamers started getting large donations from male fans who hoped it would earn them recognition.
The term “simp” has no specific gender attached to its definition. But it’s most often used as an insult towards men who act kindly towards women, and on Twitch, specifically towards female streamers. The reason Twitch decided to ban the term is that the word has become overused over the past few months and has been flung around for an increasing variety of reasons. But it’s becoming clear that removed a word like this from an entire community’s vocabulary is no easy task.