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- Twitch updated its Nudity and Attire guidelines after much backlash over previous vague policies that said streamers should dress in attire “appropriate for public settings.”
- The new policies ban full and partial nudity, including exposed genitals or buttocks. It also says women must cover nipples and not expose underbust, though cleavage is unrestricted.
- Situational expectations were made for breastfeeding, swimming and beaches, concerts, IRL streams, body art, and more.
- While some have welcomed the new specific rules, many argue that they continue to allow people to scrutinize women by policing their bodies.
Problems With Twitch’s Previous Nudity Policy
Twitch updated its policies around nudity and attire on Tuesday, giving its most specific guidelines to date about how much skin a streamer can show on the platform.
For years now, Twitch has faced backlash over so-called “boobie streamers,” which is a term essentially used to describe female streamers who are suspected of luring in viewers with their looks and sexually suggestive content.
However, the problem is that oftentimes, women who wear what some consider provocative clothing are sometimes looped into that category as well, like fitness streamers or cosplayers.
Twitch has tried to crack down on nudity and sexually suggestive content in general, but it has struggled to lay out clear policies that satisfy its users. Previous vague attempts instead put several creators in gray areas, like those who do body art or outdoor streams.
The platform previously said that streamers should dress in attire that is “appropriate” for public settings, “such as what you would wear on a public street, or to a mall or restaurant.”
This really didn’t clear things up for people since what someone finds appropriate is subjective. For example, leggings and a sports bra might be considered appropriate to some, but it can be perceived as something different by someone else.
Twitch has made it clear that it doesn’t want to allow pornography on its platform, but some say that its guidelines were inconsistently applied. Many argued that the rules often allowed for misogynists to rally against streamers they didn’t like and sometimes, streamers who tried to play by the rules were punished.
In February for instance, body painting artist Forkgirl was suspended for violating the nudity policy, despite believing she did nothing wrong. She thought her suspension might have been prompted by trolls mass reporting her content. Twitch later said her chest was not adequately covered but reinstated her after recognizing her “good faith attempt” to comply with their policies.
Folkgirl and others have called for more transparency from Twitch, asking for more precise information about what guidelines they’re breaking so they can avoid doing so.
Twitch Announces New Policies
Well, this time around Twitch laid out more specific policies, saying in a blog post, “Our previous policy relied on an assumed shared understanding of what is appropriate in specific contexts. Establishing a standard for coverage reduces the policy’s reliance on an assumed single definition of contextually acceptable. ”
Twitch’s said it does not allow any steamers to be fully or partially nude, “including exposing genitals or buttocks.”
“We do not permit the visible outline of genitals, even when covered. Broadcasting nude or partially nude minors is always prohibited, regardless of context,” it added.
The updates then specifically addressed women, saying, “For those who present as women, we ask that you cover your nipples. We do not permit exposed underbust. Cleavage is unrestricted as long as these coverage requirements are met.”
On top of those rules, it says all streamers must cover the area extending from their hips to the bottom of their pelvis and buttocks. As far as areas of the body where coverage is required, it said, “the coverage must be fully opaque – sheer or partially see-through clothing does not constitute coverage.”
“Augmented reality avatars that translate real-life movement into digital characters are subject to this standard, as is cosplay and other costumes.“
However, the new guidelines do provide some exceptions, noting that some situations call for attire that is prohibited in their standard guidelines. Their list of contextual exceptions includes:
- IRL streaming
- Swim and beaches, concerts and festivals
- Body Art
- Context transitions
- Embedded media, studio and other Twitch-endorsed content
More specifics about each expectation are listed in the updated community guidelines page, but essentially the rules still say that even in these cases, streamers must still make sure to have opaque coverage over their nipples, buttocks, and genitals. However, standard chest coverage rules do not apply to those breastfeeding on stream.
“This list is not exhaustive,” the update states, “and we will update it periodically as the community’s needs evolve.”
Twitch also said it has added a clarification to its Sexually Suggestive Content policy writing, “We continue to evaluate attire and sexual content separately and as always, sexually explicit and suggestive content are prohibited on Twitch. To further clarify our stance, we’ve added concrete examples of content considered sexually suggestive. Again this list is not exhaustive but seeks to minimize uncertainty about our expectations and considerations when our safety operations team is making evaluations.”
The community guidelines now ban explicitly sexual behaviors, including erotic dancing, simulated sex acts, and pole dancing with “a sexual framing,” among other content.
The new policies went into effect immediately and Twitch noted in its blog post that old suspensions still stand. “Although your content may not violate the new policy, it violated the guidelines in place when the enforcement was issued,” it said.
As far as older content that violates the new policy, Twitch is giving users until May 1 to evaluate and remove videos themselves. “After that time, if reported, we will remove the content, but no other enforcement actions will be taken against the channel.”
While some have welcomed the specific guidelines, some say they allow people to continue to scrutinize women by policing their bodies.
Finally some guidelines for body painters and cosplayers to know what is and isn’t allowed. Instead of guessing or being banned for no explained reason. Thank you twitch!— Mae (@MaeAsylum) April 7, 2020
Thank you so much Twitch for putting down these much more specific guidelines of what is and isn’t permitted. This will make it much easier for everyone to know what is and isn’t allowed. Body painters thank you! ❤️— jordan🎃hanz (@JordanHanz) April 7, 2020
So @twitch is continuing there war on women’s bodies.— KuddlesomKraken (@KuddlesomKraken) April 7, 2020
It’s sad to see there updated community guidelines require women (And only women), to “cover the nipples”
Require shirts for everyone or don’t. It’s not hard.
I guess #feminism and #equality is a dead to concept to twitch
This is fucking terrible. Are there only men who are afraid of breasts and women in general working for Twitch, that they feel like having to police their clothing and overall look?— 아틀란티스 프린스 (@AtlantisPrince) April 7, 2020
For now, many are waiting to see how the policies are actually enforced moving forward.
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.