Truly, the gamer tag is our digital handshake, a greeting we extend that says "B0ngSm0ka95" or "xXxShadowGoku420" to introduce ourselves to our friends and/or enemies. Now, a new change to Twitch's username policy aims to ensure some manners and decorum around the gamer's handshake moving forward.
In the company's own words:
"...we have additional, higher standards for usernames based on reducing harm across our services. Usernames and display names created on Twitch may not include:
- Breaking the Law, including Terrorism and Child Exploitation
- Violence and Threats
- Hateful Conduct
- Harassment and Sexual Harassment
- Unauthorized Sharing of Private Information
- Glorification of natural or violent tragedies
- Self-Destructive Behavior
- References to recreational drugs, hard drugs, and drug abuse, with exceptions for alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana
- references to sexual acts, genital, or sexual fluids."
To be frank, those don't strike me as unreasonable standards for one of the most prominent forms of communication on the platform, and Twitch also outlined its new system of enforcement for username infractions.
For your average Twitch user whose gamer tag just falls a little bit outside of acceptable bounds, the company will institute mandatory username resets with no other consequences barring repeated setting of an offending name.
Twitch does, however, reserve the right to indefinitely suspend accounts based on their user names. This measure appears to be another safeguard against the "hate raid" phenomenon which plagued the platform for much of last year. From Twitch's post: "Our suspension data indicates that the vast majority of users who create names that would result in indefinite suspensions create many such accounts, and are often involved in malicious raiding, brigading, and harassment campaigns. Because these individuals harm and spread toxicity within the Twitch community, we indefinitely suspend them immediately in order to mitigate this abuse, as well as remove the username."
Overall, this policy update seems like a reasonable response to the specific forms of harassment that have perpetuated on Twitch, as well as an acceptable framework for what constitutes an acceptable username for the average user.