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Twitch updates harassment policy to curb online abuse

The changes clarify what behaviors the platform considers sexual harassment and hate speech.

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On Wednesday, livestreaming platform Twitch released updates to its Hateful Conduct and Harassment Policy aimed at better protecting its community of gamers and users from hate speech, sexual harassment and other harmful online attacks. 

"We know that many people on Twitch -- particularly women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Black, Indigenous, and people of color -- unfortunately continue to experience a disproportionate amount of harassment and abuse online, including on our service," according to a Twitch blog post. "Not only is this blatantly unacceptable, it also undermines the community we're building on Twitch and threatens the long term viability of streaming as a career for everyone who wishes to pursue it."

The changes make several aspects of Twitch's current policy clearer and more explicit, banning actions like encouraging people to doxx another user, repeatedly commenting on someone's physical appearance if you've been asked to stop, or displaying the Confederate flag. 

The new policy will take effect on Jan. 22, 2021. Until then, Twitch's team will continue to moderate content using its existing guidelines, the post said.

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