We recently saw an article on Twitch’s new updates on their sexual content policy and classification system. According to the update, Twitch will now allow previously prohibited content such as illustrated nipples and “erotic dances”, while also providing a better understanding of what is and isn’t allowed in terms of nudity on the platform.
This announcement comes after the widespread backlash against the “topless meta” on Twitch, which started when streamer and OnlyFans model Morgpie went viral for appearing naked on her streams. Her “topless” streams featured her bare shoulders, upper chest, and cleavage, which suggested nudity but never explicitly violated Twitch’s sexual content policies. However, many male streamers were angered by her content and demanded action from Twitch. Morgpie was banned on December 11th, just two days before Twitch’s major policy overhaul. Interestingly enough, another streamer who goes by asianbunnyx and creates similar content remains unbanned.
- “Fictionalized” artwork, animations, and sculptures depicting fully-exposed breasts, buttocks, and genitals of any gender are allowed under the new policy.
- However, “augmented reality avatars” that mimic real-life movement must follow the same clothing guidelines as regular streamers.
- Female-presenting nipples must always be covered, but cleavage is still considered “unrestricted.”
- Showing “underbust” is still not allowed on Twitch.
Twitch has not clarified their stance on sideboob.
A spokesperson for Twitch explained that the platform has been working on improving their content moderation for the past year. The updates to the sexual content policy are a result of feedback from streamers. Twitch believes that by clarifying what is and isn’t allowed, it will be easier for streamers to comply with their policies. The spokesperson also mentioned that Twitch is still experimenting with context and wants users to be well-informed rather than relying heavily on punishments for policy violations.
Twitch’s recent updates have the community wondering: what exactly is allowed on the platform?
The company believes that their consolidated sexual content policy and updated Content Classification Guidelines will modernize their approach and eliminate the disproportionate penalties faced by female streamers in the past. These updates will provide more clarity and reduce the risk of inconsistent enforcement, aligning Twitch’s policy with other social media services.
Under the new policy, streams labeled for “drugs, intoxication or excessive tobacco use,” “violent and graphic depictions,” “gambling,” and “sexual themes” will not be promoted on Twitch’s homepage recommendations. However, they will now allow for more explicit content that was previously not allowed on the platform. This will prevent viewers from seeing content they have not consented to, but they can still directly navigate to the channels streaming such content.
Streams tagged for mature games and profanity can still be recommended on the homepage.
Twitch did not respond to inquiries about how labeling streams as containing mature content may affect streamers’ ad revenue.
Under the new policy, artistic depictions of breasts, buttocks, and genitals are now allowed as long as they are properly labeled. This includes previously banned content on the platform. However, streaming from a strip club or “adult entertainment establishment” is still prohibited.
The updates on Twitch’s policy seem to address the long-standing complaints about the uneven moderation of female streamers. In 2018, the platform introduced a dress code, stating that streamers’ attire should be appropriate for a public place. This was later revised in 2020 with specific guidelines on what is and isn’t allowed. Despite hot tub streams being allowed as long as streamers wore swimsuits, the policy still disproportionately affected female streamers who were constantly targeted with suspensions and bans due to mass reports from viewers.
Twitch previously prohibited streams that “deliberately highlighted breasts, buttocks, or pelvic region,” even if the streamers were fully clothed. However, the vague and inconsistent enforcement of this rule led to confusion among streamers. According to Twitch, this portion of the policy was subjective and not in line with industry standards. It also resulted in female streamers being unfairly penalized.
In their Sexual Content Policy, Twitch acknowledges that allowed attire on the platform depends on the context of individual streams. What may be considered appropriate for a beach or gym stream may not be acceptable for a cooking or gaming broadcast. The company also notes that attire that is “intended to be sexually suggestive” is still not allowed. This begs the question of how female streamers may still face harassment and targeting from viewers who sexualize them no matter what they wear.
Morgpie, who is still banned, praised Twitch’s update and stated that it is the best possible outcome. She believes that allowing mature content while not promoting it on the homepage will provide creators with more freedom while still keeping it away from the wrong audience.