A devoted troop of boob patrollers has sunk a lot of time into reporting boobs on Twitch over the years, aided largely by Twitch’s Delphic “attire” guidelines. Until now, attire was to be “publicly appropriate for the context, location, and activity” of the broadcast and, more confusingly, appropriate for a “mall” setting. This has opened the door to all kinds of misogynist trolls, like the ones who bombarded ExohydraX with racial slurs before she was banned indefinitely for “sexually suggestive content.” (ExohydraX’s Twitch outfits are generally no less revealing than the average outfit on a Forever21 mannequin.
Her channel is now up and running under exohydraax.) The sexually suggestive content policy has punished cosplayers, a woman in a sports bra, and even, outrageously, an emote of Spongebob Squarepants ripping his pants.
It should be helpful, then, that Twitch cleared up its guidelines yesterday in microscopic detail, assigning rules and regulations to each body part. Genitals and buttocks are a no; visible outlines of genitals are also verboten. Those who present as women must cover their nipples and underbust, whilst overbust (cleavage?) is ok. Clothing must be fully opaque on the questionable areas. This one brings me back to middle school:
For all streamers, you must cover the area extending from your hips to the bottom of your pelvis and buttocks.
Further exceptions are made for body painting and breastfeeding.
In-game VR models are exempt, but per usual, you may not focus on sexual acts in your gameplay (which xQc toyed with last month with a round of “Strip 4: Classmate Study.”)
Dress codes are always annoying, but at least we all know the rules and we know what gets us sent to the principal’s office. However, Twitch’s update to its “sexually suggestive content” definition adds myriad potential openings for harassers to abuse the report function. No “camera focus on the breasts,” is one example of that. The rule depends on who’s looking at the video and also suggests that women might need to start adjusting their webcam angles just in case. Other rules forbid “erotic dances” and “pole dances or acrobatics with sexually suggestive framing.” The last Twitch attire update was made shortly after the great 2017 “booby streamer” culture war, and the platform seems, again, to be protecting the camgirlphobics (from boobs?), rather than women who have to think of themselves as performers for an audience of horny scolds.
Twitch will not be reevaluating old content that now adheres to the rules, stating that “it violated the guidelines in place when the enforcement was issued.” Yet streamers are expected to comb through their old content and delete videos that now violate the new rules by May 1st. It even directly addresses the community cops in its FAQs, giving them permission to report videos after that deadline.
For the record, in-game nudity is fine, as long as it’s not “a primary focus of your content” and you “only spend as much time as needed in the area to make progress.” So, keep the trips to the boob room quick and you’ll have a bright streaming future ahead of you.