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Twitch Bans ‘Implied Nudity’ Amid Crackdown Against Explicit Content

4 January 2024 | 1:35 pm | Jessie Lynch

"We don't permit streamers to be fully or partially nude, including exposing genitals or buttocks."


Twitch (Wikipedia)

Popular live-streaming platform Twitch has announced its ban on “implied nudity” in response to a recent controversy where users attempted to circumvent content guidelines by covering themselves with real-life censor bars.

On Wednesday (Jan. 3), Twitch chief customer trust officer Angela Hession outlined the updated guidelines via a blog post.

The central point of the new policy is the prohibition of "implied nudity," making it clear that no nudity, whether partial or full, will be allowed on Twitch. Hession emphasised that it must always be evident that streamers are wearing clothes during broadcasts.

“We are updating the Attire portion of our Community Guidelines to prohibit implied nudity while streaming on Twitch,” she wrote in the post titled An Update to Our Attire Policy.

This update is in response to a recent meta on Twitch in which streamers use black censor bars or other items to block their bodies or clothing, or position the camera frame such that the viewer is led to believe that the streamer is fully or partially nude. While most streamers have labelled this content appropriately with the Sexual Themes label and are wearing clothing behind the object or outside the camera frame, for many users, the thumbnails of this content can be disruptive to their experience on Twitch.”

“While content labelled with the Sexual Themes label isn’t displayed on the home page, this content is displayed within the category browse directories, and we recognise that many users frequent these pages to find content on Twitch. This update goes into effect today.”

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She continued, “For those areas of the body where coverage is required, the coverage must be fully opaque; sheer or partially see-through clothing does not constitute coverage. Note also, that streamers must appropriately categorise their content. For example, streamers that use the attire exception that is granted when streaming near a pool or a hot tub, are expected to use the ‘Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches’ category when classifying this content.”

"We don't permit streamers to be fully or partially nude, including exposing genitals or buttocks," the new policy continued, adding that they would no longer “permit streamers to imply or suggest that they are fully or partially nude, including, but not limited to, covering breasts or genitals with objects or censor bars.”

“We do not permit the visible outline of genitals, even when covered. Broadcasting nude or partially nude minors is always prohibited, regardless of context."

She continued, “For those who present as women, we ask that you cover your nipples and do not expose underbust. Cleavage is unrestricted as long as these coverage requirements are met and it is clear that the streamer is wearing clothing.

“For all streamers, you must cover the area extending from your hips to the bottom of your pelvis and buttocks.”

Back in December, several streamers initiated broadcasts that seemingly featured full nudity. However, the content creators were actually implying nudity by strategically positioning their cameras to showcase unobscured cleavage while keeping their nipples concealed.

Termed "artistic nudity," the trend gained momentum across the platform and content creators continued to push the boundaries, Twitch swiftly enacted its policy change one day after loosening its stance on “artistic nudity”.

Company CEO Dan Clancy said following the drama in December that “depictions of real or fictional nudity won’t be allowed on Twitch, regardless of the medium.” He also apologised, saying that part of Twitch’s job is “to make adjustments that serve the community.”

The new policy is set to take effect immediately.