Twitch to crack down on ‘serious crimes’ committed offline

Twitch to crack down on ‘serious crimes’ committed offline
Twitch to crack down on ‘serious crimes’ committed offline

Streamers who are part of hate groups, have uttered death threats, or participated in violent acts outside of Twitch may be suspended from the platform.

Streaming service Twitch updated its hateful behavior and harassment policy on Wednesday, threatening to suspend users of accounts found guilty of“Serious offenses” committed offline.

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These new measures significantly broaden the scope of possible sanctions for the platform, which is part of Amazon’s digital empire. “We are convinced that serious breaches committed by Twitch users outside of our site can pose a significant risk to the entire community.”, now indicates in its terms of use the site, popular with video game enthusiasts.

“Therefore, we will sanction the accounts concerned, applying measures up to an indefinite suspension from the first offense in the context of certain behavior offline or on other Internet services”, adds the platform. The list of behaviors covered by the new Twitch policy includes deadly or violent actions, death threats, terrorist activity, participation in a “Notorious hate group” or the sexual exploitation of children.

New step

By deciding to sanction offenses that did not occur directly on its platform, Twitch is taking a step forward in the fight against violent and hateful behavior. On Facebook or Twitter, account suspensions generally result from content deemed dangerous or misleading and having been shared on the site itself, but not from real life facts, which means that these social networks are also vilified by civil rights organizations.

Twitch recognizes that extending the realm of sanctions to offline behavior requires compelling evidence before taking action. “In most cases, this involves a direct link to a public message or to content directly uploaded by the offending user”, explains the Amazon platform, which specifies that screenshots or messages that may have been modified are generally not admissible. “We will also consider using the police to assess the merits of the charges and evidence”, also ensures Twitch.

Guardrails

Users also have the option of contacting an external investigative team by email to report, in confidence, abusive behavior outside of Twitch’s services.

In order to avoid abuses, the platform is also considering safeguards. It ensures, for example, that if the incriminated facts occurred a long time ago, if their manager has already served his sentence and if he does not present any danger “Clear and immediate”, sanctions are not necessarily to be considered. If the account has already been deactivated, an appeal is possible. On the other hand, for the most serious cases, Twitch indicates that “The suspension can never be appealed”.

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