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Twitch Will Now Allow ‘Artistic Nudity’ After Viral Topless Trend

Twitch has updated their sexual content policy guidelines.

Twitch written in purple and white words with a phone held up showing the Twitch app logo.
Image: Shutterstock/Ink Drop

The Amazon-owned live streaming platform Twitch, recently announced changes to their policies regarding which types of sexual content were prohibited, which will now be allowed if labeled appropriately.

The new rules in the policy state that “artistic” depictions, meaning they are drawn, animated, or sculpted of “fully exposed female-presenting breasts and/or genitals or buttocks regardless of gender,” are now okay if creators label the content as containing sexual themes. However, fictionalized sexual acts or masturbation remain prohibited.

Twitch still does not allow streamers to be fully or partially nude. But it is now allowing content that “deliberately highlights breasts, buttocks or pelvic region” as well as “body writing” and body painting on “female-presenting breasts and/or buttocks regardless of gender” with a Sexual Themes label. In addition, dances such as “twerking, grinding and pole dancing” are now allowed without a label.

Many streamers such as Kai Cenat and Morgpie were happy about the new policy rules. A lot of new content emerged on the platform as well.

Twitch’s chief customer trust officer, Angela Hession, explained in a blog post that the live-streaming platform was making the updates after receiving “consistent feedback from streamers that our current policies around sexual content are confusing and that it can be difficult to know how their content will be interpreted based on these policies.”

Twitch launched Content Classification Labels (CCL) in June “in recognition that some content that is allowed on our service may not be suitable for all audiences,” according to Hession. “We believe that accurate content labeling is key to helping viewers get the experience they expect, and now that we can enable appropriate labeling of sexual content using CCLs, we believe that some of the restrictions in our former policies are no longer required.”

When a creator applies a Content Classification Label, viewers must provide explicit consent before watching a stream. Going forward, livestreams that are labeled as including Drugs, Intoxication, or Excessive Tobacco Use; Violent and Graphic Depictions; Gambling; and/or Sexual Themes will no longer be included in homepage recommendations shelves due to “the visual nature of those topics” per Twitch.

According to Twitch, if streamers fail to use a Content Classification Label accurately, they will receive warnings and “Twitch will apply the correct CCL to the stream,” the company says. If streamers fail to apply the correct CCL repeatedly, a label will be temporarily locked onto the stream, but it will not result in a suspension.

Now, days later, after the policy was updated, the platform has withdrawn the portion of the policy regarding ”artistic nudity”.

“Effective today, we are rolling back the artistic nudity changes, the update read. “Moving forward, depictions of real or fictional nudity won’t be allowed on Twitch, regardless of the medium.” The rollback will not affect mature-rated games and is subject to the new policy.

Twitch CEO Daniel Clancy issued a statement explaining the rolling back of the ”artistic nudity changes”.

Much of the content created has been met with community concern. These are concerns we share. Upon reflection, we have decided that we went too far with this change. Digital depictions of nudity present a unique challenge – AI can be used to create realistic images, and it can be hard to distinguish between digital art and photography.

So, effective today, we are rolling back the artistic nudity changes. Moving forward, depictions of real or fictional nudity won’t be allowed on Twitch, regardless of the medium. This restriction does not apply to Mature-rated games. You can find emote-specific standards for nudity and sexual content in the Emote Guidelines. We aren’t making other changes to the updated Sexual Content Policy.”

Twitch.com

The streaming company has struggled to moderate sexual content throughout the years. Many streamers have been complaining about the guidelines being too strict. For example, Twitch explicitly governs women’s attire.

Now that they have revised some of their guidelines the company has said it has went to far, resulting in the roll back of some of the rules.

Clancy talked about incidents of streamers posting content that violated Twitch’s guidelines after the policy was announced. The platform’s “Art” section was quickly filled with pornographic drawings and animation, including fetish art and sexually explicit imagery of what appeared to be young girls.

There were also issues with AI-generated content that could look photo-realistic.

He stated that Twitch had taken action against channels that broke its rules. Most of the videos have since been deleted from Twitch. 

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