Twitch has revealed an update to its Community Guidelines which will result in off-platform misconduct by streamers being investigated more thoroughly. While Twitch has, in isolated and rare instances, used evidence from law enforcement to supplement its own on-platform investigations with off-platform context, it will now actively look to do this more, and can ban a user from the platform even if the misconduct is entirely external.
“Off-service enforcement” will now fall under two categories, according to Twitch. The first is when harassment or misconduct happens on Twitch, as well as off of it. “When this happens, we will take into account verifiable, off-service behaviors or statements that relate to an incident that took place on Twitch,” the platform says.
The second category involves solely off-platform misconduct. Even if a user hasn’t been harassing someone or acting inappropriately on Twitch, if their off-service actions “pose a substantial safety risk to the Twitch community” they will be investigated and potentially banned.
With Twitch upping its efforts, it is partnering with a third-party investigator that will help in gathering evidence for off-platform misconduct. While not named, Twitch says this partner is “an experienced investigations law firm that is dedicated to conducting independent workplace and campus investigations, including those related to sexual discrimination or assault.”
In January, we began enforcing our updated Hateful Conduct and Harassment policy so we could better protect every person on Twitch.
Today, we want to share our plans for how we’ll handle incidents that happen off Twitch.
— Twitch (@Twitch) April 7, 2021
It has also opened up a new line of confidential communication where Twitch users can report off-platform harassment or misconduct: the [email protected] email address.
Twitch has also provided a list of off-platform behaviours that it would investigate, ranging from sexual exploitation and assault to threats of harm towards Twitch staff and the wider community. The blog post detailing the changes can be found here.