As part of Twitch’s revamped Community Guidelines, a number of very specific rules have caught the eye of streamers and audiences alike. One of particular note prohibits accusations that a streamer was not banned due to “sexual favors.”
Sometimes a meme, sometimes serious, there has often been talk about streamers getting off lightly with otherwise bannable violations of Twitch’s ToS (Terms of Service) by essentially bribing the moderation team.
Most often, it’s an accusation leveled against female streamers, with claims that they receive favorable treatment from Twitch staff through personal relationships or outright sexual favors.
In Twitch’s new policy, going into effect in January 2021, such accusations will be considered under the sexual harassment section of the Community Guidelines, prohibited on Twitch.
The section in question is labeled “Making derogatory statements about another person’s perceived sexual practices or sexual morality.”
Under this heading, there are four specific rules:
- Alleging that a person is sexually immoral due to their attire or physical appearance
- Stating that a person’s attire reflects negatively on their sexual practices
- Suggesting that a person’s channel is only popular or has not been banned due to sexual favors
- Repeatedly negatively targeting another person with sexually-focused terms, such as ‘whore’ or ‘virgin’
The fourth rule already received a lot of attention on social media for banning terms like ‘virgin’ and ‘simp. But, the third rule has perhaps gone somewhat unnoticed.
It lays out two very specific instances: claiming a streamer is popular due to sexual favors to Twitch staff, or that it helped them avoid a ban.
This kind of claim has been made repeatedly about some of the most high-profile female streamers, namely Pokimane, Alinity and Amouranth.
But, the reason it may be so explicitly mentioned here is perhaps due to the controversy around Twitch’s now-former Partnerships Manager, Hassan Bokhari. Hassan was fired by Twitch in September, after accusations of sexual misconduct and soliciting images from partnered streamers.
So, this rule perhaps equally aims to protect Twitch staff from such accusations, as much as it protects the streamers.
Crucially, what will perhaps be most difficult for Twitch when this new policy comes into effect on January 22, 2021, will be enforcement. It’s important to note that Twitch will issue bans for violations that take place outside of Twitch too – so on other social media for example.