Twitch updated its Hateful Conduct and Harassment policy early this month to provide more protection to its community. The platform hopes the developed policy will give a “clearer and more consistent stance” on how harassment is dealt with by Twitch.
Misconduct off the platform
The updates expand on severe misconduct that occurs off the platform. Twitch stated that in serious cases “where there is available, verifiable evidence” they will take action. This pertains to harassment that occurs on other social media and/or online or offline services when it involves members from its community.
In a blog, Twitch defines two categories in which they will act on harassment off the platform. The first category is an incident that occurs on the Twitch platform then moves to another platform or vice versa. This policy is used in the majority of cases involving off-service relations.
The second category gives a wider outlook and pertains to the community of Twitch as a whole. These cases include incidents that present a “substantial safety risk” to the community and may “occur entirely off Twitch”. In this category behavior that poses a threat includes deadly violence and violent extremism, leadership or membership in a hate group, terrorist activities or recruiting and a handful more. Twitch understands that behaviors it set forth are not all-inclusive to harassment but, their policy is always developing.
Currently, Twitch cannot look into incidents that happen outside of the two categories in regards to off-service cases. Although this approach is new Twitch has taken action on severe cases in the past. Twitch clarifies the complexity of these cases as they take time and many resources to resolve. With cases that happen off-app, law enforcement, as well as appropriate services, can be heavily involved so they may share more information.
Twitch is also partnering with a well-regarded third-party investigative group to work with its internal team which deals with these cases directly. The third-party group is an experienced investigative law firm that conducts its expertise with “respect and sensitivity to all parties involved”.
Lastly, Twitch created an email for users to report incidents of harassment that involve off-service interaction. The email for users to report these types of issues is OSIT@twitch.tv. Users can trust that reporting incident to this email that they will be treated confidentially within the internal team. For all other harassment issues that happen on Twitch, users should file a report using the platform’s reporting tool.
Twitch’s persistence to keep its community safe is what shows they care. When people feel safe and respected they will feel more inclined to use Twitch. It is important for platforms to have these systems in place to effectively support their communities.