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Twitch clears up its confusing sexual content guidelines

Twitch has finally streamlined its confusing guidelines surrounding sexual content after a creator was able to appear seemingly topless in a stream posted on the website. The incident compelled viewers to question what kind of content could actually appear — and what could get you banned — on livestreams. Following feedback from users, Twitch has merged the two separate sexual content policy sections on its guidelines page and clarified that some materials that were previously prohibited are now allowed on the platform, as long as they’re properly labeled.

They include content that “deliberately highlight breasts, buttocks and pelvic region” when fully clothed, which Twitch admits has caused female-presenting streamers to be “disproportionately penalized.” The website now also allows streams to show drawn, animated or sculpted female-presenting breasts, genitalia or buttocks that are fully exposed. That said, fictionalized sexual acts and masturbation are still prohibited. Videos that show writing on female-presenting breasts and buttocks are now allowed, as well, along with videos that contain strip tease dances. Meanwhile, dance moves that include “twerking” and “grinding” can now be shown in videos even without being labeled.

In addition to clarifying its sexual content policy, Twitch has also altered its homepage algorithm so that it’ll no longer recommend content that had been labeled with Drugs, Intoxication, or Excessive Tobacco Use; Violent and Graphic Depictions; Gambling; and/or Sexual Themes. The website explains that while viewers must deliberately click on videos on the homepage to watch them, parts of streams with those themes were still visible even to those who may be uncomfortable seeing them due to their thumbnails. Now, viewers must explicitly seek out videos containing those themes.

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