Why did Twitch ban the word “obese” from its predictions?

Olivia Richman • April 10, 23:56

The Twitch community was shocked to learn that the streaming platform has seemingly banned the word “obese” from its predictions function. 

During a recent broadcast, streamer Nmplol asked his chat to predict if he would be overweight or obese when he stepped on a scale to be weighed. But he was soon informed that followers were unable to select “obese” as an option. They started spamming the chat with this issue. 

“And you won’t let it type obese? [Is Twitch] that fucking sensitive? Come on, guys,” Nmplol said. 

The streaming community immediately responded negatively to Twitch’s ban of the word “obese.” Many felt that the platform was being overly sensitive. Others noted that there were actual problems with the platform that needed to be addressed and that the word “obese” was the least of its issues. Some even noted that Twitch allowed things like regularly occurring “hot tub streams,” but has found the word “obese” too inappropriate. 

Twitch obese ban

Twitch has banned other words in the past. Most recently, Twitch banned the term “simp.” This immediately backfired, with viewers purposely spamming the platform with the word in defiance. The term saw its highest use rate after it was banned, in fact. The community was clearly frustrated at Twitch’s attempt to censor language. 

“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 in response. 

Is simp against Twitch’s ToS?

Terms including incel, simp, and virgin are officially against Twitch’s Terms of Service (ToS). If they are used repeatedly to “harass” someone, users can be banned for it. Emotes that relate to these words will be denied approval or taken down as well. “Obese” isn’t listed on Twitch’s ToS, but it may also be seen as a form of harassment given this latest move.

It’s notable that “obese” is a medical term relating to a certain degree of being overweight. While it could potentially be used as an insult, this usage is uncommon. In putting a spotlight on it, Twitch may be creating a new issue where none was before.

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