Twitch users were quick to rebel against Twitch after it originally banned the words “simp,” “incel” and “virgin” on December 15 – and a new report shows just how much its decision backfired.
The decision to ban these terms came to light on December 16, when the platform issued a surprise policy update.
During a townhall stream, Twitch’s COO Sara Clemens notoriously noted that “Using terms like simp, incel, or virgin as an insult to negatively refer to another person’s sexual activity is not allowed under this new policy.”
Following this, many streamers voiced their disapproval on social media, including big names such as 100 Thieves’ Neekolul, NICKMERCS and TimTheTatman.
— timthetatman👑 (@timthetatman) December 16, 2020
I fact, he backlash was so great that Twitch had to issue a statement clarifying its stance.
“We do not have a blanket ban on the use of words like ‘simp’ in casual banter,” they explained in a tweet. “But will take action when words like this (amongst others) are used to harass and harm community members.”
The term “simp” popularly refers to men who will go to great lengths to impress a woman with the (usually false and self-imposed) hope that he will receive her affections, in return. It’s often applied to viewers, normally males, who are abnormally generous with gifting money to female streamers.
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.
Check out our hateful conduct and harassment policy to learn more: https://t.co/rT9QAC6zcZ
— Twitch (@Twitch) December 18, 2020
Now, according to a report by Stream Hatchet, chats mentioning the word ‘simp’ nearly doubled after Twitch’s “ban” on the word came to light.
In the fifteen days before the ban, there was an average of 71K uses of the word in Twitch chats. Following the ban, however, the number rose to 140K.
“The banning didn’t seem to stop Twitch users from testing the limits of the new ToS additions. Adversely, the banning led to an increase of ‘simp’ mentions in chat to almost double the previous 15 day average,” the report details.
Basically, viewers on Twitch were willing to put their own accounts in danger in defense of free speech and in protest of the platform’s policies.
Stream Hatchet did not include statistics for the words “incel” and “virgin,” but those terms were mocked by many on social media following news of the ban originally.