Thursday, October 30, 2014

Twitch Clothing Rules Questionable

In taking a step closer to being "Amazon-friendly," Twitch is now banning users who are nude or wear sexually suggestive clothing while streaming through their services. The nude part I understand. While Twitch does have the "mature content" button for M rated games and excessive swearing, it's also not a pornography site. It's not billed as that to it's consumers, and it wants to take the right steps to ensure that such behavior is removed.

It's the "sexually suggestive clothing" that can raise a lot of questions, and fighting back from the users.

"Dress...appropriately. Nerds are sexy, and you're all magnificent, beautiful creatures, but let's try and keep this about the games, shall we?" From the Twitch Rules of Conduct.

While the approach is lighthearted, it doesn't really give details on what's considered "suggestive" and that definition can change from person to person. I don't think my fitted t-shirt and cropped pants are sexy, but someone watching me could think it's showing too much skin, or it's too tight. That could result in a report and potential ban. I don't know what Twitch's suspension system is like, but I can't imagine that the appeal process is easy.

I know it's safe to say "don't be naked, cover up your bikini tops and underwear" but is that the hardline rule that Twitch will enforce? What about tube tops? They cover the bits appropriately. They're not underwear or swimwear, and they show off some skin. Someone is bound to find that offensive and sexual. Or tank tops? Men and women wear these. What's to stop a person from complaining about tank tops? Or what about cosplayers that game through Twitch? Will Dante no longer be allowed? Or Moxxi? They are sexy characters and fully clothed - are they worthy of the ban hammer?

If Twitch wants to follow-through, they need to make the rules more cut and dry. They can put their own humorous spin on it. But the lack of detail is asking for an increase in nonsensical bans and more burden on the channels.

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