Twitch has updated its Hateful Conduct & Harassment Policy to include some new restrictions and guidelines that'll go into effect on January 22nd. The updated policy targets three main categories: Harassment, hateful conduct, and sexual harassment with each of those sections containing a few new additions to the guidelines. Twitch said it'll have opportunities soon for the community to get involved and learn more about the changes made and the reasonings behind the changes.
Harassment has long been an issue targeted by Twitch's policies and has new guidelines in place now to better keep streamers and the rest of the platform's community safe. Twitch denoted three particular examples of harassment that are now expressly forbidden: Claiming a victim of a well-documented violent tragedy is lying, encouraging others to hack or someone or attack them similarly, and inciting malicious raids of someone else's social media channels.
We’re updating our Hateful Conduct and Harassment policy to clarify our expectations and make Twitch a safer and more inclusive place for everyone.December 9, 2020
Within the hateful conduct section, Twitch stressed some of the measures that were already in place to prevent things like hate speech, hate symbols, and other obvious instances of harassment. One of the new targets of the updated policy is the many emotes Twitch has. These emotes carry different contexts that aren't immediately visible to those new to Twitch, and Twitch said they can be used "maliciously" sometimes. The updated policy will now look for those sorts of moments. It also bans the display of the United States Confederate Flag.
"Given its historic and symbolic association with slavery and white supremacist groups in the US, displaying the Confederate flag is prohibited," Twitch's new guidelines said.
New sexual harassment guidelines include forbidding people from "commenting on someone's perceived attractiveness" even if you think you're giving them a compliment, so if you've been asked to stop, you need to stop. Lewd or explicit comments about sexuality or physical appearance are similarly forbidden as is sending unwanted links to nude images.
You can see an extensive list of actions newly covered under the revised guidelines here that include things like misgendering people intentionally, content that perpetuates negative stereotypes or intentionally belittles protected groups of people, and asking streamers to either expose themselves or to send nude images.
Twitch's revised guidelines will go into effect on January 22nd.