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Image credit: Elijah Nouvelage / Reuters

Twitch clears up its confusing nudity and attire guidelines

Cleavage is allowed, but streamers still can't be "fully or partially nude."
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
April 8, 2020
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A twitch sign-in screen is seen at the offices of Twitch Interactive Inc, a social video platform and gaming community owned by Amazon, in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 6, 2017.  REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Elijah Nouvelage / Reuters

When Twitch unveiled its new community guidelines around sexual material last year, the rules around attire were very vague. That resulted in streamers, including ExoHydraX, receiving bans for what they considered to be inconsistently applied rules. Now, Twitch has released new “nudity and attire” guidelines that clarify more precisely what is allowed in streams.

While Twitch has banned streamers for wearing suggestive clothing, it never really said what it considered to be “suggestive.” Rather, the guidelines just stated that “we recommend creators wear attire that would be publicly appropriate for the context, location, and activity,” while adding that “attire intended to be sexually suggestive” wasn’t allowed.

Now, the rules are “based on a standard level of coverage,” Twitch wrote. You can’t broadcast nude or partially nude, and “must cover the area extending from your hips to the bottom of your pelvis and buttocks.” Those presenting as women must cover their nipples and can’t expose the underside of their breasts. However, “cleavage is unrestricted as long as these requirements are met.” Swimsuits, breastfeeding and body-painting are also allowed, provided that genitals and nipples (for women) aren’t visible.

The policy goes into effect immediately with no grace period for new streams. Also, Twitch won’t re-evaluate past suspensions for things that are now allowed (like cleavage), even though the older rules were unclear. In a FAQ explaining why, it said that “although your content may not violate the new policy, it violated the guidelines in place when the enforcement was issued.” At the same time, though, Twitch is also forcing creators to take down older content that now violates the new rules, with a May 1st deadline.

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