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Will new Twitch rules break the Twitch meta and result in bans?

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Twitch streamers have been playing a game of cat and mouse with Twitch management in recent months, constantly looking to take advantage of the streaming company’s rules. Will the latest rules update change that dynamic for good?

Some Twitch streamers have made a habit of testing how much they can get away with during their livestreams, specifically when it comes to showing off their bodies. Whether as a means to drive more subscriptions and donations during their streams, or as an opportunity to encourage viewers to seek them out on subscription platforms that allow for more explicit content, it has proven to be a lucrative practice for many of those who engage in it.

It leaves Twitch in a challenging position, however. One that the streaming company has struggled to resolve.

New Twitch rules ban emphasizing “intimate body parts”

The new Twitch rules update prevents streams for focusing content around the display of “intimate body parts,” though the rule is kept vague as to what exact that means and what it will cover.

Popular streamers such as asianbunnyx and Morgpie have faced bans on the platform for streaming explicit content. These and other examples have stood out as Twitch has tried to mitigate the sexual content on the website while still allowing these and other popular streamers to operate.

It’s in Twitch’s interest to keep popular streamers in its fold, and to continue benefiting from the consistent viewership that their audiences can deliver. But there are also concerns.

Advertisers on Twitch who are looking to reach youthful, gaming-oriented audiences may not want their advertisements to play on channels that are promoting sexually explicit content. Some advertisers avoid any type of sexualized content regardless of platform, whether it’s delivered via streaming or otherwise. Keeping these advertisers is important.

Finding a middle ground has often meant creating ambiguous rules that are open to interpretation. But this also creates frustration for some users, while popular streamers are left to create new “meta” environments that skirt these rules without getting them banned.

A ban on “intimate body parts” that doesn’t explicitly define those body parts, or define exactly how long those parts can legally be shown on stream, is only going to invite further controversy if, or perhaps when, it results in new bans. But that ambiguity may be the best that Twitch can offer for the time being as it continues to toe these lines.

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Written by Jared Wynne

Jared Wynne has been covering gaming and esports for the past two decades. He's a former competitor in Counter-Strike, and still counts it among his favorite games along with RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect. He studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, has been published at such outlets as The Daily Dot and The Esports Observer, and is the former Editor-in-Chief at WIN.gg. You can find him on Twitter / X at @JaredWynne.

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