In the past, Twitch has given suspensions or temporary bans on channels for breaking guidelines, leaving content creators confused about why that was the case.
While the new guidelines don’t holistically change Twitch’s terms of service fundamentally, they more thoroughly detail what’s appropriate to make expectations a bit more clear.
“Historically, to address the variety of situations and content on Twitch, our policy on Nudity and Attire focused on context,” Twitch said. “We’ve heard from our community, however, that our policy isn’t clear enough about what is and is not allowed on stream, and in particular that more detail is needed for streams like body art or outdoor streams.”
The new policy is focused more on a “standard level of coverage” than one based on what specific clothes one is wearing. To put it plainly, Twitch’s detailed policy follows the same general lines of most basic public decency laws.
- Full or partial nudity isn’t permitted.
- Women must cover their nipples and underbust. “Cleavage is unrestricted as long as these coverage requirements are met.”
- Coverage of your body is required from your waist to the bottom of your pelvis and buttocks.
- Augmented reality avatars and cosplay are subject to judgment as well.
Twitch also outlined a number of situations where people shouldn’t be punished for nudity, including body art, IRL streaming, embedded media, and context transitions.
To clarify, these “exceptions” aren’t fully exempt from punishment. Twitch is just going to give them a little bit more leeway situationally. For example, if an IRL streamer flashes the camera, they can be disciplined by Twitch. But if someone in public runs behind that streamer without any clothes on, the streamer won’t be punishable as long as they make a concerted effort to prevent the nudity from being on camera because it’s an element of the stream that is out of their control.
Obviously, the updated guidelines don’t account for absolutely every situation, but Twitch added in its post that the company intends to add more clarification periodically as the “community’s needs evolve.”
For streamers who have never had any trouble with violating Twitch’s policies in the past, these updates will likely have little to no effect. The basic standards that the platform has for streamers are effectively the same.
This update is geared more toward making sure that if or when someone is disciplined by Twitch, the person being punished is acutely aware and understanding of why the ban hammer is coming down on them.