Twitch just made some big changes to its rules around sexual content, now allowing more risqué streams as long as they properly label them. Cartoon boobs? Yes please! Actual human female nipples? Still a no-go.
The updated policy aims to provide more clarity and fairness, especially for female streamers who have faced disproportionate crackdowns in the past. But in typical Twitch fashion, the rules come across as rather convoluted.
For example, streamers can now show augmented reality avatars that translate their real-life movements into digital characters. But the avatars themselves have to follow the same modesty standards as human streamers, with no exposed cartoon naughty bits allowed. Underboob and sideboob also remain forbidden territories.
Meanwhile, static 2D and 3D renderings of breasts, butts, and genitals are A-okay. So streamers could theoretically paint themselves nude and stand very still while the camera pans over their artwork without violating any rules. But actual erotic dancers have to keep things PG-13. Make it make sense, Twitch!
At the end of the day, this seems like a classic attempt by the platform to have their cake and eat it too when it comes to sexual content. They don’t want to alienate advertisers and conservative critics, but they also don’t want to lose popular streamers and their fanbases.
The result is a set of policies full of arbitrary lines and contradictions. But for those who manage to toe the line just right, it could open exciting new creative possibilities. Get ready for a whole new wave of tantalizingly implicit content as streamers test exactly how much they can get away with under the new rules. Twitch’s confusion continues!