Twitch has updated its username policy, with references to hard drugs and sex now banned.

Explaining the changes, the company said it recognises that a user’s screenname “has more impact across our services than many other forms of content because they are persistent, cross-functional, and, in most cases, much more visible.”

“Because of this, we have additional, higher standards for usernames based on reducing harm across our services,” said Twitch before listing what’s banned.

From March 1, usernames on Twitch cannot include:

– Breaking the Law, including Terrorism and Child Exploitation
– Violence and Threats
– Hateful Conduct
– Harassment and Sexual Harassment
– Unauthorized Sharing of Private Information
– Impersonation
– Glorification of natural or violent tragedies
– Self-Destructive Behaviour
– References to recreational drugs, hard drugs, and drug abuse, with exceptions for alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana
– References to sexual acts, genital, or sexual fluids

Image: Anatolii Babii / Alamy Stock Photo

Names breaking existing community rules will be banned indefinitely because, according to Twitch’s suspension data, “the vast majority of users who create (offensive) names are often involved in malicious raiding, brigading, and harassment campaigns.” Twitch explains that these instant bans will help mitigate the abuse

However users affected by the tightened restrictions around references to drugs and sex will be invited to do a username reset. “Once you have renamed your account, you will be able to use Twitch as normal, and your account history (aside from the offending username) will be preserved,” says Twitch.

The new rules are based on Twitch’s Community Guidelines. However “there are contextual differences in usernames and display names compared to other types of content.

Twitch goes on to explain that usernames are “often the most discoverable part of an account and in some instances, may also be representative of the content or focus of a channel’s activity.

“As an example of how these differences in standards are applied, while we prohibit pornography on Twitch, using the word ‘pornography’ in chat would not result in an account suspension. However, a username that contained the term ‘pornography’ would be enforced as a violation of this policy with a reset.”

There’s an appeal process for anyone who feels they’ve been unfairly banned.

Last month, streamer Pokimane spoke on the double standards viewers have when it comes to attractive female streamers.

It followed an outpouring of support for the streamer after she was subjected to a sexist hate raid.

The post Twitch changes username rules, bans references to hard drugs or sex appeared first on NME.


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