Twitch users may now face punitive measures by the service for actions that occurred offline, on other platforms, or before they started using Twitch at all.
Twitch, owned by Amazon, announced the changes in a post on its official blog, entitled “Our Plan for Addressing Severe Off-Service Misconduct.”
This follows up on updates to the service’s Hateful Conduct and Harassment policy, which took effect Jan. 22, as well as the November appointment of Angela Hession, former head of gaming safety and trust at Microsoft, as VP of trust and safety at Twitch.
Under the new rules, Twitch may take action against users of its service for “hateful conduct or harassment” that occurs off Twitch’s services, when directed at or committed by members of the Twitch community and when there is “available, verifiable evidence” on the subject.
Toward the latter end, Twitch has created a dedicated email address, OSIT@twitch.tv, for confidential reports of misconduct by holders of a Twitch account. It has also brought on an unnamed law firm with expertise in conducting independent workplace and campus investigations, and increased the size of its internal law enforcement response team.
In January, we began enforcing our updated Hateful Conduct and Harassment policy so we could better protect every person on Twitch.
Today, we want to share our plans for how we’ll handle incidents that happen off Twitch.
Read the blog here: https://t.co/vBnoY6nPau pic.twitter.com/KQX1ZBsRVg
— Twitch (@Twitch) April 7, 2021
There’s room to be cynical here. Twitch has been notorious in the past for inconsistent or wholly absent enforcement within its community, such as how it took until 2020 for Dr. Disrespect to eat a perma-ban. Last summer, a number of partnered Twitch streamers stopped broadcasting for 24 hours under the hashtag #TwitchBlackout, in protest of Twitch’s lack of …read more