Twitch policy update bans usernames that reference sex and drugs

Except weed and alcohol.

Sabrina Bracher via Getty Images

Twitch wants everyone to have nicer, more family-friendly usernames. The video streaming website has updated its policy to prohibit usernames that have hate speech, threats of violence and personally identifiable information in them. It will now also ban usernames with references to "sexual acts, arousal, fluids or genitalia," as well as references to hard drugs. Those with some kind of reference to weed, alcohol or tobacco don't have to worry about a thing, though — those three are A-OK and don't fall under the new "hard drugs" rule.

"Although we’ve removed many reported, offensive usernames under our current policy, we believe establishing a stronger standard is needed to cultivate a diverse, inclusive global community on Twitch," the Amazon-owned streaming platform said in its announcement.

Twitch is giving all users until March 1st, 2022 before it starts enforcing its new guidelines. That way, creators will have time to think of a new handle and fix their branding without their disrupting their streaming activities. After the deadline passes, Twitch will suspend users if their names are clearly "hateful, harassing, violent or typically representative of malicious behavior."

It will, however, give people with references to sex and hard drugs in their names a chance and will only require them to reset their handles. Same goes for instances wherein it's not clear if a handle violates the new policy. The website built a tool that allows people to reset their names without losing their account history, subs, follows and bits, and people can continue their activities as usual after they use it. While Twitch is giving users the freedom to make changes on their own, it said a machine learning feature will keep an eye on any new handle people try to create to make sure it doesn't violate its policy, as well.