The New Guidelines Have Caused Much Controversy and Debate
The new community guidelines for Twitch users will start being enforced today on Monday. Enforcement of the new guidelines was originally supposed to start last month on February 19th but Twitch delayed their enforcement, stating the need for more clarity on the new rules.
Last Friday, the official Twitch Twitter account tweeted out an FAQ video about the new guidelines.
The most controversial part of the new rules was a dress code that all streamers had to adhere to if they didn’t want to be in violation of Twitch’s rules against “sexual content”: “Attire in gaming streams, most at-home streams, and all profile/channel imagery should be appropriate for a public street, mall, or restaurant,” the new rules read.
However, the rules also state that Twitch won’t allow this new dress code to be an excuse to harass streamers: “As a reminder, we will not tolerate using this policy as a basis to harass streamers on or off Twitch, regardless of whether you think they’re breaking this rule.”
The recently posted FAQ also further explained the new rule: “We recommend creators wear attire that would be publicly appropriate for the context, location, and activity they are broadcasting. For example, workout clothes would be appropriate for a fitness stream and a swimsuit would be appropriate for a stream from a public beach.”
This dress code set off a lot of criticism and debate in the gaming & streaming community. Some supporters of the new guidelines felt that the new dress code was good because Twitch didn’t want any inappropriate sexual content on their website while others (usually streamers) also supported the guidelines since they didn’t feel like it was fair for them to have to compete with so-called “booby streamers” for viewers.
On the other hand, critics viewed the new dress code as sexist towards women (especially towards women who have shapely bodies or large busts) and also for being too vague in its description. Kotaku’s Nathan Grayson lampooned the new dress code by going to a mall and pointing out all the clothing (such as tank tops and shorts) that mall-goers were wearing out in public. Clothing, Grayson seems to argue, that could violate Twitch’s new dress code.
Our previous article on the new guidelines also pointed out the problem of deleting old saved Twitch streams (referred to as VoDs): “There is also significant disagreement with the guideline that calls for the deletion of VoDs (basically saved videos of past streams) and video clips that violate the guidelines,” the article read. “Several Twitch users on the site’s subreddit brought up the issue of having to delete possibly hundreds of VoDs in order to not get in trouble with Twitch moderation.”
The recent FAQ post on Twitch’s official website says that any VoDs that are found to have violated the new guidelines “will be removed without suspension”. However, Twitch reserves “the right to exercise discretion on severe violations.”
So gamers, what do you think of these new guidelines? Do they go too far or are they completely reasonable? Let us know in the comments section!