Twitch is following the development and updating of new plans for its Hate and Harassment Conduct Policy and how to resolve the serious misconduct that occurs outside the platform, but which still has an impact on the streaming platform ecosystem.
This means that Twitch is expanding its current out-of-service enforcement policy, with the goal of responding to more than just serious cases of hateful conduct or harassment directed at community members on social media, other online or offline services.
What the changes imply
With these changes, the Twitch it is also bringing in a third-party partner to investigate the cases, supporting the platform's internal team. The partner's name has not been released, but the platform said it is "an experienced investigative law firm that is dedicated to conducting independent investigations at the workplace and on campus", specifically experienced in cases related to sexual discrimination or assault.
The updated policy divides the out-of-service enforcement guidelines into two categories, with varied approaches being taken to ensure that appropriate punishment is applied.
"Although this policy is new, we have historically taken action against the serious and clear misconduct that took place outside of service, but until now, we have not had such a staggered approach," told Twitch. "These investigations are much more complex and can take significant time and resources to resolve."
Category of cases
For category one cases where someone is harassed on Twitch, as well as outside, the platform will take into account behaviors or verifiable statements outside of the service that relate to an incident that occurred in the streaming service. Twitter, for example, can be used as evidence. This is similar to how the platform currently conducts out-of-service investigations and will remain relatively the same.
Category two is where the real changes come in. The company will now actively monitor serious offenses that pose a substantial security risk to its community, even if the actions take place entirely outside the platform.
Here is the list of examples given in the ad, although Twitch said it "does not include all types of harassment and abuse" and will also take action against other credible actions.
- Deadly violence and violent extremism.
- Terrorist activities or recruitment.
- Explicit and / or credible threats of mass violence (ie threats against a group of people, event or place where people meet).
- Leadership or participation in a known hate group.
- Practice or act as an accomplice in non-consensual sexual activities and / or sexual assault.
- Sexual exploitation of children, such as child grooming and soliciting / distributing sexual materials to minors.
- Actions that would directly and explicitly compromise the physical safety of the Twitch community, such as threats of violence at a Twitch event.
- Explicit and / or credible threats against Twitch, including the Twitch team.
Twitch reporting channel
Twitch is also launching a dedicated email address, [email protected] , where anyone can report glaring misconduct outside the service from within the community. All emails sent to that address will be treated as confidential and will be shared only with a limited group within the platform and its outsourced investigative partner.
But the company also said it will only take action where evidence is provided, which “may include links, screenshots, video of behavior outside of Twitch, interviews, police records or interactions, which have been verified by our response team. law enforcement or outsourced investigators. ”
"We have access to relevant data about the activity that occurs in the service, which allows us to investigate reports and apply our policies," said the company. "For behaviors that occur outside of Twitch, we must rely more heavily on law enforcement and other services to share relevant evidence before moving on."
The platform and its partners will decide how to handle each case and cannot inform the accused parties until it has ensured that the evidence presented is reliable. No action will be taken against an accused user's account until the investigation is completed and only if the evidence of irregularities is confirmed.
Updates will be shared with the parties involved on a case-by-case basis and nothing will be published publicly. Thus, the platform wants to be at the forefront of all its changes as it works to “be an environment as safe, inclusive, diverse and positive as, together, we can make it”.
You can read more about specific changes to platform policies and some frequently asked questions at official Twitch blog.