Twitch is expanding its rules against hate speech and harassment to cover behavior outside of its platform.
The story: This week, the Amazon-owned streaming service announced an expansion of its off-service misconduct policy, which includes punishing users for what the company considers unacceptable behavior, even if it took place offline or on another platform.
In detail: Twitch now divides misconduct into two categories. The first category applies to harassment that can occur on and off Twitch, while the second applies only to harassment that does not take place on the platform. Twitch made no changes to the first category, which allows the platform to take into consideration harassment that happened on another platform while reviews a harassment report on Twitch.
The second category is new and aims to prevent harassment on Twitch rather than deal with it after it already occurred. Under the new rules, the platform can take action against a user if it discovers “serious offenses that pose a substantial safety risk to the Twitch community” and happened off Twitch.
Twitch defines “serious offenses” as incidents of violent extremism, membership in a known hate group, credible threats of mass violence, non-consensual sexual activities, and sexual exploitation of children, among other things.
Users who violate these rules on another platform can face “an indefinite suspension on the first offense for some behaviors,” Twitch warns.
Twitch can also ban a person from creating an account on Twitch if the company finds they engaged in what it deems a serious offense elsewhere. The announcement highlights that the target of the harassment does not have to be a Twitch user.
Why? “Individuals who have engaged in the severe forms of abuse listed above we believe are more likely to engage in behaviors on Twitch in violation of our Community Guidelines, or would create overt safety risks for our communities,” Twitch explains in the blog post.
The exceptions: “However, in cases where these behaviors have occurred in the distant past, users have gone through a trusted rehabilitation process, such as legally mandated time served in a correctional facility, and our investigative process determines that there is no evidence to suggest that the user would cause any clear and present danger to the community, we may decline to take action against a user or unsuspend their account based on an appeal,” the company explains.
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Author: Penka Arsova
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