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Twitch users could face ban for off-service behavior

Accounts could face indefinite suspension for offline conduct by streamers.

Oscar Gonzalez Staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is Texas native who covers video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
Expertise Video Games, Misinformation, Conspiracy Theories, Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Movies, TV, Economy, Stocks
Oscar Gonzalez
2 min read

What you do offline could get you in trouble with Twitch.

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Twitch , Amazon's video game streaming platform, updated its terms of service in January to help curb online abuse on its site. The company is now planning to expand the scope of its efforts to include certain behavior conducted away from the platform. 

Twitch has developed an off-service conduct policy to deter users from serious offenses done either offline or on other internet services, the company said Wednesday. People investigated for violations could face penalties including an indefinite suspension of their accounts. 

"Taking action against misconduct that occurs entirely off our service is a novel approach for both Twitch and the industry at large, but it's one we believe -- and hear from you -- is crucial to get right," the company said in a blog post Wednesday.

There are two categories of off-service offenses. The first involves harassment either on or off Twitch. This can include someone harassing a person on Twitch and then continuing to harass them on another platform such as Twitter. 

The second category consists of offenses that are deemed a "substantial safety risk to the Twitch community." Some examples include: 

  • Deadly violence and violent extremism
  • Terrorist activities or recruiting
  • Explicit and/or credible threats of mass violence (i.e. threats against a group of people, event, or location where people would gather).
  • Leadership of or membership in a known hate group
  • Carrying out or acting as an accomplice to non-consensual sexual activities and/or sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation of children, such as child grooming and solicitation/distribution of underage sexual materials
  • Actions that would directly and explicitly compromise the physical safety of the Twitch community, such as threatening violence at a Twitch event
  • Explicit and/or credible threats against Twitch, including Twitch staff

To handle any off-service incidents, Twitch brought in a third-party law firm to handle the investigations. The company also created an email address, OSIT@twitch.tv, for individuals to send documentation regarding the activities of a streamer. Info sent to the address will be kept confidential, the company said. It did say legal authorities should be contacted first if warranted. Twitch warns that it will ban users who abuse the email address with a large number of frivolous claims or encouraging others to do so.