Twitch updates username policy that bans those who reference hate speech and drugs

Twitch has updated its username policy as the streaming service wants to build a better online community and protect minorities from harassment and abuse.

New Twitch Username Guidelines

Twitch is on a mission to create a safer and more inclusive environment on the platform as hate raids have increased and affected hundreds of users, according to Engadget.

The streaming service believes the update may reduce instances of harassment. Users must now follow new username guidelines regarding the name they wish to use. Those who do not comply will be banned from the site.

The streaming platform has released a full list of what cannot be used as a username. The list is very reasonable, although many users will need to modify or completely change their name just to comply with the guidelines.

Also Read: Xbox Creator Seamus Blackley Speaks Out On Twitch Harassment Scandal

Usernames must not reference and involve violence and threats, violation of law, terrorism, child exploitation, hateful behavior, harassment, unauthorized sharing of information privacy, sexual harassment, glorification of tragedy, impersonation of another person, drugs, addiction and sexual acts.

However, there are a few exceptions to using drugs as a username. References to marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol are acceptable, according to the Twitch blog.

But if the username includes hard drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, you will need to change it if you want to continue using the platform.

Twitch said that to ensure the community is inclusive and safe, all inappropriate account names that violate the new guidelines are prohibited.

The streaming service added that it decided to update the guidelines because it knew usernames impacted the platform as they were persistent, more visible and cross-functional.

Because of this, they updated the username standards to reduce harm to the site.

Users who violate the new rules will face indefinite suspension, but Twitch said some may request a username reset, depending on the circumstances.

Twitch said that in cases where they believe users may be acting in good faith, they will require a username or display name reset instead of suspending accounts indefinitely, according to Metro.

Username resets are generally done in situations where the name would violate this Username Policy but would not be a violation of the site’s guidelines for other types of content.

Certain violations of guidelines in usernames that are particularly sensitive may result in a username reset.

It’s a good move, but it will take time to see if it will impact the platform or if violators will find another way to harass other users.

In 2019, Twitch phone verification was added to help combat harassment on the site.

Twitch’s Other Plans to Combat Hate Raids

According to Dexerto, VP of Global Trust and Safety at Twitch, Angela Hession posted a letter on January 12 that details the steps Twitch is taking to thwart unacceptable trends and what they want this year.

Hession wrote that, as the past year has shown everyone, there will always be bad actors motivated enough to spread hate and evade site policies.

Twitch wants to consider specific outliers that may harm the service and other users. Going forward, the platform will seek to strike a better balance between communicating with its communities and addressing violations.

Related Article: Twitch Streamer ‘Alinity’ Files Police Report on Fans Who Show Up at Her Home, Says It’s ‘Harassment’

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Written by Sophie Webster

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