Categories: News

Twitch Warns Bans Might Extend to Off-Platform Activity

Since the start of the year, Twitch has certainly kicked their efforts into a new gear in order to attempt to remove toxic or abusive members from their streaming platform. Such moves have, of course, seen mixed success and reactions from the community on the whole, but overall, I think the majority of people can at least understand their reasoning behind this.

Following a new update to their Terms of Service, however, and one that specifically again looks to target their ‘Hateful Conduct and Harassment policy’, we suspect that some users are going to find the new changes potentially a little disturbing.

Twitch Warns of Off-Platform Activity Bans!

So, you act like a moron on Twitch, sooner or later you’re probably going to get your account permanently banned from the platform. Something that is entirely understandable. Well, following their latest rules announcement, it would appear that their decision to ban you will no longer be limited to just what you do on their platform. Put simply, anything you do online or via social media could potentially put your account at risk!

The new rules basically break down into two categories. The first is quite simply in continuing harassment of one of their users off-platform. The second, however, goes into more serious risks of threats of harm or injury. Even if these are not made on Twitch, you could potentially be banned on the platform for engaging in any of the following activities:

  • Deadly violence and violent extremism
  • Terrorist activities or recruiting
  • Explicit and/or credible threats of mass violence (i.e. threats against a group of people, event, or location where people would gather).
  • Leadership or membership in a known hate group
  • Carrying out or acting as an accomplice to non-consensual sexual activities and/or sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation of children, such as child grooming and solicitation/distribution of underage sexual materials
  • Actions that would directly and explicitly compromise the physical safety of the Twitch community, such as threatening violence at a Twitch event
  • Explicit and/or credible threats against Twitch, including Twitch staff

What Do We Think?

On the surface, the new rules do largely appear to be perfectly reasonable. In addition, we should note that Twitch always has the right to ban whomever they deem unsuitable for their platform. There is, however, one aspect of it that I find very worrisome, and that is the exceptionally muddy waters known as ‘hate’. This isn’t something merely restricted to this one streaming platform, but who decides what constitutes a ‘hate group’?

A lot of organizations, rightly or wrongly, get that name thrown at them quite regularly, and, particularly in a political context. Overall, I’m not sure I like the fact that these new rules basically allowing them to become arbiters with the power to now seemingly ban anyone associated with a group that the vocal minority does or may not agree with.

Taking the rules as a whole, however, while certainly well-intentioned, I just don’t think it’s Twitch’s place to attempt to police the internet. And perhaps they should just stick to their own community?

I’ll let you make your own mind up by giving you the link to the new guidelines here!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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