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Twitch has launched a massive overhaul of its rules regarding sexual content on the streaming platform, and while it opens up new opportunities for some streamers, there is a notable catch to all of it.
Twitch has been under fire from critics on all sides over the last few years regarding its inconsistent policing of sexual content on the website. Some want the platform to liberalize its policies on sex and sexual content, others want all such content banned, and others still just wanted more clarity on what exactly was allowed.
This lack of clarity was often cited when notable streamers would be banned from the platform, sometimes for a matter of days or hours, and sometimes for many months. Without an easily understandable guideline to follow, Twitch was putting itself in a difficult position of playing arbiter between seemingly similar cases.
Do new Twitch rules allow for more sexual conduct?
Yes, the new Twitch rules do allow for more explicit sexual conduct to be hosted on the popular streaming platform. This most notably applies to a few types of content.
One such type is content that “highlights” certain sexualized parts of the body, such as breasts or the “pelvic region.” Whereas streamers were previously subject to subjective judgment from Twitch moderators on these fronts, it is now broadly acceptable for streamers to highlight themselves in sexually suggestive ways without having to make odd exceptions to pass certain rules.
The new policy also enshrines the right to write on these same parts of the body. It’s a common practice for streamers to write the names of top donors or subscribers on their body, often suggestively, and this rule change protects that practice.
Also expressly allowed is sexualized dancing. Whether it’s twerking, pole dancing, or outright strip teasing, you can now do it on Twitch as you please.
It’s also notable that these rules broadly apply to art, as well as to the human body. Multiple artists have been banned from Twitch over the years for drawing art that could be construed as sexual, whether or not it was intentionally sexualized. The new policy will protect artists on the platform from these types of decision.
Twitch no longer allowing sexual content on homepage
The catch with all of these changes is that Twitch will no longer be allowing sexual content to appear on its homepage, potentially limiting the discoverability of streamers who primarily promote themselves through sexual content. This will be managed by self-imposed tags that streamers must declare if they plan on broadcasting sexual content.
This change isn’t limited to sexualized content, either. It also applies to content heavily featuring drugs or alcohol consumption, gambling, or depictions of graphic violence.
There are exceptions for all of these rules. As Twitch is still primarily a website concerned with the streaming of video games, those games that feature such content can still be streamed normally. But streamers who choose to specifically highlight these types of content outside of normal gameplay may find themselves at odds with Twitch.