In an effort to better combat harassment and hateful conduct, Twitch has made an update to their policy that will take effect in the new year.

Going into the new year, Twitch has made an update to its harassment and hate policy. Like so many other sites, Twitch has struggled to effectively handle such cases and hopes to improve that going forward.

Dealing with harassment and hateful conduct is nothing new on the internet. Whether on Twitch, YouTube, or some other platform, many content creators have likely dealt with one of these ugly behaviors, which often extend to their fan bases as well. In some cases, the reverse has been true where certain creators promote hateful rhetoric and have their fans target those they dislike or disagree with. In response to the many forms in which harassment and hate conduct can manifest themselves, platforms have been working hard to create more comfortable environments for the people that use them, both creators and fans alike. Many policies have been put into place in an effort to combat these toxic behaviors and sometimes they need to be updated in order to better suit the current social climate.

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Twitch updated its legal policy about handling harassment and hate conduct going into 2021. The policy lists a multitude of examples that the company considers as either hateful conduct, sexual harassment, or harassment and promises severe punishments to those who are reported. Content creators are meant to be role models and moderators for their own communities and are encouraged to report any violations. The full policy goes into greater detail about the responsibilities for Twitch, content creators, and fans and it is set to take effect on January 22, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. PST.

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It would seem that Twitch’s new policy puts the majority of power in the hands of the content creators. This makes practical sense as Twitch could not possibly moderate every stream that happens thoroughly, however it is also possible this is too much to put on the creators. Not only will they have to worry putting on a good show, but they will also need to make sure that their communities are following the policy guidelines. Twitch clearly states in its update that creators who do not enforce the policy adequately will also be subject to penalties, particularly suspension.

While the intention is good, trying to crack down on harassment and hateful conduct on the internet, particularly in countries that allow free speech, is nearly impossible. Unfortunately, each person has their own idea of what falls under these categories, meaning that there will unlikely be a universal governing code despite the policy. Every instance of reported harassment and hate conduct should be investigated by Twitch thoroughly, but the question is will that happen? It is unlikely Twitch has man power to be that thorough on such a large scale, which will likely lead to the usage of filters and other such imperfect software. The answer of how to effectively deal with harassment and hate speech online is nowhere close to being figured out, but hopefully this policy change will be a step in the right direction.

Next: Twitch Removes ‘Blind Playthrough’ Tag Over Ableism Concerns

Source: Twitch

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