Twitch responded to its emerging "Hot Tub Meta" this week with the creation of a new streaming category: Pools, Hot Tubs & Beaches. The goal of the new category is to give people who streamed in swimsuits and related attire a more fitting category other than the catch-all that "Just Chatting" has become. Twitch similarly updated its guidelines on content which could be viewed as sensitive and offered more clarity on the newest Twitch category.
Hot tub streams and related content is nothing new on Twitch, but the discussions about those streams going on online seemed to peak this week whenever Twitch streamer Kaitlyn "Amouranth" Siragusa had her ads on her channel suspended after taking part in one of these streams. Twitch didn't mention the streamer or any specific content creator by name but instead spoke to the topic broadly.
We have an update on all things Hot Tubs, ad pauses, and content preferences. Read the blog to learn more: https://t.co/C5h7MMdAae— Twitch (@Twitch) May 21, 2021
While Twitch has policies and guidelines governing this sort of content, it was unclear to many where these hot tub streams fell under Twitch's "Nudity & Attire" and "Sexually Suggestive Content" policies. Prohibiting nudity and sexual content is a more clear-cut process, but Twitch said content potentially viewed as sexually suggestive is a bit more open to interpretation since "sexual suggestiveness is a spectrum." One thing Twitch was clear on was that "being found to be sexy" was not a crime and that Twitch streamers – particularly women – won't be punished for "their perceived attractiveness."
Twitch also addressed the ad suspensions on "some channels" and said it's able to take action at advertisers' requests but that it was a mistake not to notify the affected streamers before or when action was taken.
"We recently suspended advertising on some channels that were flagged by the majority of our advertiser base and failed to notify them," Twitch said. "Our creators rely on us, and we should have alerted affected streamers to this change before it happened–it was a mistake not to do so. We're working with individual creators to address their specific situations and restore ads where appropriate."
In the coming months, Twitch said it plans to update its policies on sexually suggestive content to better clarify how it'll navigate and moderate streams. In the meantime, Twitch published a help article accompanying its main announcement to give a condensed version of the topic while advising people who stream in swimwear to keep their content under the new Pools, Hot Tubs & Beaches category.