As part of an ongoing process of retooling its policies around harassment and hateful conduct, Twitch announced on Wednesday that the words “simp,” “incel,” and “virgin” will no longer be allowed on the platform as long as they are used by streamers and commenters as insults. If they are used in a friendly way, the words are, presumably, still ok to use.
In a statement, a Twitch spokesperson told The Verge that the platform plans to take action against the use of those terms “specifically when they are being used to negatively refer to another person’s sexual practices.” Using the terms on their own in a way that doesn’t actively insult other users, the spokesperson added, “wouldn’t lead to an enforcement, but we would take action if they were used repeatedly in a harassing manner.”
The new rules will officially go into effect on January 22nd, and will also include stricter policies around sexual harassment. Among the other new banned behaviours are “making derogatory statements about another person’s perceived sexual practices or sexual morality” and “repeatedly negatively targeting another person with sexually-focused terms, such as ‘whore’ or ‘virgin.’”
During live-streamed town hall on Wednesday afternoon, Twitch COO Sara Clemens said that terms like “simp,” incel,” and “virgin” are specifically not allowed because they are often deployed as “insults to negatively refer to another person’s sexual activity.” Clemens also noted that the platform will monitor emotes, a Twitch-specific set of emoticons, for the banned terms, and will remove them when reported.
In June, Twitch said that it was “committed to continuing our efforts to make Twitch a safer environment” after the platform finally began reckoning with the wave of sexual harassment and hateful content complaints that had long plagued it.
While there’s no word on how the moderators will enforce the new ban, they’ll have their work cut out for them; there are a lot of people calling each other simps on Twitch.