YouTube and Twitch have refreshed and reiterated their policies to ban or demonetize users for their conduct off the platform, reflecting increasing scrutiny on the platforms.
On Thursday, YouTube released a new instructive video for creators that reminded them of YouTube’s policy that holds creators responsible for conduct off the platform.
“A creator can get demonetized or suspended from YouTube even though their videos didn’t violate community guidelines,” YouTube’s creator liaison Matt Koval said in a video.
This comes after YouTube megastar David Dobrik’s crew member was accused of allegedly raping someone after they filmed a video about having group sex.
Twitch, too, recently made a similar move. After announcing they had an incredible year of massive growth, Twitch expanded its rules about hate and abuse to include behaviour off the platform.
Earlier this year, the platform had banned Trump from the service following the January 6 insurrection.
What this represents is a move away from naive platforms of yore that were laissez faire about what was on their platforms.
It wasn’t too long ago that places like YouTube, Twitch, and other platforms were more like the wild west where almost anything went. But as user count swelled, advertising money flowed in and the companies themselves grew up from being cheeky little startups, expectations grew for the companies.
People began to expect a lot more, both from a policy and an enforcement perspective.
This announcement and refresh show that platforms know that they just can’t get away with washing their hands of anything that’s strictly not on camera — something that, to be honest, makes sense.
It sounds good to comfortably draw the line somewhere simple but that’s how you end up with neo-Nazis using your platform because they’re smart enough to toe the line.
As always, what matters is how this is enforced. But it’s an overdue due step for YouTube and Twitch.