Twitch has announced it will start addressing severe cases of misconduct that impact its community, even if they occur off-service.
Social media platforms are struggling to find the balance between free speech and cracking down on harassment, misinformation, racism, hateful content and more. Twitch began enforcing its updated Hateful Conduct and Harassment policy in January, but the platform is now expanding its policy to cover conduct that happens off-service.
The company’s previous guidelines are highlighted below:
Our current guidelines state that in some serious cases where there is available, verifiable evidence, we may take action against users for hateful conduct or harassment that occurs off Twitch services—meaning on social media, other online services, or even offline—when directed at members of the Twitch community.
Under the new guidelines, the company outlines two categories of conduct that will be impacted. Category One involves when “someone is harassed on Twitch, as well as (italics theirs) off Twitch.”
Category Two will involve “serious offenses that pose a substantial safety risk to the Twitch community, even if these actions occur entirely off Twitch (emphasis theirs).” Examples would include terrorist activities, deadly violence, violent extremism, credible and explicit threats of mass violence, membership or leadership in a known hate group, sexual exploitation of children, being involved in non-consensual sexual activities and/or assault, and anything that would explicitly threaten the physical safety of the Twitch community or Twitch staff.
These behaviors represent some of the most egregious types of physical and psychological harm, but we understand that this list is not inclusive of all types of harassment and abuse.
The company is also involving a third-party to help it navigate the challenges involved in moderating content and users.
In order to be as thorough and efficient as possible in these situations, we’re bringing on a highly-regarded third party investigative partner to support our internal team with these investigations.
Twitch is clearly taking its responsibilities seriously and is rolling out a comprehensive and measure approach to make sure it strikes the proper balance.