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Twitch may now ban you for 'serious offenses' that take place off the platform

Twitch
(Image credit: Twitch)

Harassment, abuse and other serious misconduct may now get you banned from Twitch even if none of it occurs on the streaming platform itself, according to new guidelines laid out this week.

Twitch's off-service policy had previously taken into account misconduct that spilled over from the platform into other forums—a Twitch spat that continues on Twitter or Discord, for example. But Twitch has now introduced plans to tackle "serious offenses" relating to the Twitch community, even if none of the incidents happen on Twitch itself.

The guidelines cites examples of the kinds of severe (and overwhelmingly criminal) misconduct that'll get you booted from the platform. While not exhaustive, the list includes deadly violence, membership or leadership in known hate groups, terrorist activities, sexual assault, and explicit and credible threats against Twitch employees or the wider community. 

"Taking action against misconduct that occurs entirely off our service is a novel approach for both Twitch and the industry at large, but it’s one we believe—and hear from you—is crucial to get right," Twitch wrote. "This is an iterative, ongoing process, and as always, our end goal is to build a safer Twitch for everyone."

Admitting that it's unable to dedicate resources to events that happen entirely outside its jurisdiction, Twitch says that it's partnered with an "experienced investigations law firm" to more thoroughly investigate claims of off-platform misconduct. Reports can also be made through a new, dedicated email address at OSIT@twitch.tv.

While largely a game-streaming platform, Twitch's placement as the most popular streaming service has seen it at the forefront of political moments in the last year. When the US Capitol was stormed in February, thousands watched it live on Twitch, with Twitch subsequently banning a former US President from the site.

If Twitch is to secure itself as a safe place to create content, it can't be oblivious to the happenings in the wider world. Hopefully, these new guidelines help prevent bad actors from getting a foothold on the platform.

A one-time dog sledder, pancake flipper, alien wrangler and indie darling, Nat now scours the internet looking for the hottest PC gaming news. Destined to become Scotland's first Battlemech pilot.