Video game streaming platform Twitch says it's delaying establishing its new community guidelines to address concerns over its phrasing, according to a post on Twitter yesterday.
"Thanks for all your insightful feedback on our new Community Guidelines!" the service writes. "It's important they're clear to everyone and we need to better explain some sections, so we're pushing back enforcement to start March 5. We'll release an updated FAQ before then."
Thanks for all your insightful feedback on our new Community Guidelines! It's important they're clear to everyone and we need to better explain some sections, so we're pushing back enforcement to start March 5. We'll release an updated FAQ before then.— Twitch (@Twitch) February 18, 2018
Twitch announced earlier this month it was instituting the new guidelines on February 19th to combat harassment and sexual content. Once they take effect, hate speech, both on and off the platform, can result in an immediate indefinite suspension. Additionally, Twitch says a streamer's attire during a broadcast should be "appropriate for a public street, mall, or restaurant."
But, some say that wording is too vague. One streamer protested a recent ban by tweeting a photo of the outfit she was wearing at the time, a tank top and short shorts. "I've wore this outfit in public several times," she writes. "I didn't buy it to stream in. So according to their 'new guidelines' I didn't break any rules."
Another streamer decided to play it safe. Sitting in front of the camera in a winter coat, gloves, and a hat, she says, "I'm ready to stream with the new Twitch terms and services. There you go everyone, this is how I’m going to stream when the new Twitch terms and services come into effect. I can't literally lift my arms up any higher than this."
Others are concerned about a passage in the new guidelines that appears to hold them responsible for the actions of their followers. "Creators are role models and leaders of the communities they create or foster around them," the guidelines state. "Creators should consider the consequences of their statements and actions of their audiences; we ask that you make a good faith effort to quell any efforts from those in your community to harass others."
Policing followers, either on or off the platform, is an impossible task. "I'm expected to intervene if the breaking of rules occur," says Forsen, a Twitch streamer with a notoriously rowdy fan base. He wants the service to define its rules more clearly. "How do I know if my chat is breaking the rules if I don't know the rules? It doesn't make any fucking sense."