Twitch reinforces user control over adult content

Lea Hogg 2 weeks ago
Twitch reinforces user control over adult content

Twitch, the popular live streaming platform, has recently taken significant steps to enhance its user control over adult content. This move is part of Twitch’s ongoing commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all its users.

On 21 May, Twitch announced a series of new features aimed at giving viewers more control over the adult content they encounter on the platform. This update, aptly titled “We’re giving viewers more control over their Twitch experience,” reflects the platform’s recognition that content preferences vary widely among its diverse user base.

One of the key features of this update is the introduction of new content filtering and thumbnail blurring options. These tools are designed to hide ‘Content Classification Labels’ (CCLs), which are used to flag streams with adult themes on the platform. CCLs were first introduced last year as a new safeguard to help viewers make informed choices about the content they consume.

Now, with the new content filtering option, users can choose to exclude streams from specific CCL categories. These categories include Sexual Themes, Drugs/Intoxication, Gambling, Violent & Graphic Depictions, Significant Profanity, and Mature Rated Games. Users can access these new filters via the ‘Content Display Preferences’ in their ‘Profile Settings.’

Twitch’s enhanced measures for adult content

For users under 18, default filters will be enabled for all CCL themes, except for Mature Rated Games. For logged-out viewers, default filters will be enabled for Sexual Themes and Gambling. As per the guidelines, streams labelled with filtered-out CCLs will not be recommended to users and will not appear in category browsing or content searches. However, content from followed streamers will always be shown, even if it’s labelled with a filtered-out CCL.

Another notable feature is the option to blur thumbnails for content labelled with the Sexual Themes CCL. This is set as a default option, but followed channels are exempt from this setting.

The update also includes a stern warning for content creators about stricter enforcement of CCLs. Repeated failure to correctly label streams could result in an unremovable label being applied to the channel. This label could remain on the account for days, weeks, or even indefinitely.

Streamers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Twitch guidelines to understand how CCLs should be applied for adult content. This is particularly relevant for gambling-related streams, which have been a source of controversy for Twitch. In 2022, Twitch updated its community guidelines to prohibit streamers from promoting gambling content on its platform.

Twitch is committed to banning the streaming of gambling sites offering slots, roulette, or dice games unless they are licensed in the US or other jurisdictions with robust consumer protection. This policy was further tightened in August 2023 when Twitch implemented a total ban on all live streams of gambling content. This move was necessary to protect audiences from the predatory marketing tactics of skin websites promoting unlicensed gambling. The update specifically banned the online casinos of Blaze and Gamdom, which were found to be directly targeting audiences.

Twitch’s latest update represents a significant step forward in its efforts to provide users with greater control over the adult content they encounter on the platform. By introducing new features and stricter enforcement measures, Twitch is demonstrating its commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all its users.

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