Twitch’s latest policy update, a direct response to the “topless” meta controversy, brings with it notable relaxations in its approach to certain types of content.
The streaming giant is now allowing previously prohibited content, such as certain types of dances and artistic expressions, as long as they are appropriately labeled.
The platform’s decision follows a tumultuous period marked by controversies like the ‘topless’ meta, where streamers found loopholes in Twitch’s sexual content policies. This trend, involving strategic camera positioning to suggest nudity without explicit rule violation, highlighted the ambiguities in Twitch’s existing content policies.
Bans of high-profile streamers like Morgpie and asianbunnyx further fueled discussions about the platform’s content moderation practices.
New freedoms for Twitch streamers
In an update penned by Angela Hession, Twitch reveals significant changes to its content policies.
Notably, content that ‘deliberately highlights breasts, buttocks, or pelvic region,’ even when fully clothed, is now permissible under specific labels. This change addresses previous ambiguities and aims to reduce subjective enforcement that disproportionately affected female-presenting streamers.
The updated guidelines also extend to the artistic community on Twitch. Fictionalized (drawn, animated, or sculpted) depictions of nudity, regardless of gender, are now allowed with a Sexual Themes Label.
Additionally, body writing on female-presenting breasts and/or buttocks is permitted, aligning with the Twitch Attire Policy that already allows body art in these areas.
A significant change in the policy is the allowance of popular dances like twerking, grinding, and pole dancing without a label. These forms of dance, which were previously restricted, are now permitted, recognizing the context in which they are performed.
Erotic dances involving disrobing gestures, such as strip teases, are also allowed, reflecting Twitch’s evolving stance on performance arts.
Twitch is not just focusing on what content is allowed, but also how it’s presented to viewers. The platform is updating its homepage recommendation criteria to ensure that streams with mature themes are not inadvertently displayed.
Viewers now have more control over the content they encounter, with explicit consent required to view streams labeled with sensitive content.
These updates represent Twitch’s attempt to balance creative expression with community standards. “We want our policies to be easy to understand and follow, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for both streamers and viewers,” states Angela Hession.
With these changes, Twitch is navigating the complex terrain of online content moderation. By allowing more freedom in content creation while ensuring viewer consent, the platform is setting a new precedent in the digital streaming landscape.