What you need to know
- Twitch announced that it's forming a Safety Advisory Council to help draft new rules and keep things consistent across the board.
- The council is comprised of online safety experts, along with some prominent streamers.
- This is in response to years of complaints from users and streamers about how the platform handles enforcing rules.
Twitch announced Thursday that it's putting together a Safety Advisory Council made up of online safety experts and Twitch creators to help with the safety of the community across the board.
The streaming platform stressed that the council will help to not only draft and clarify new policies, but will also promote work-life balance and healthy streaming habits and help with marginalized creators.
"The Safety Advisory Council will inform and guide decisions made at Twitch by contributing their experience, expertise, and belief in Twitch's mission of empowering communities to create together," an announcement on Twitch's blog read.
The members include Alex Holmes, the founder of the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, which helps to prevent bullying in schools and online; Emma Llansó, the director at the Center for Democracy & Technology's Free Expression Project; Dr. Sameer Hinduja, a professor of criminology and the co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center; and T.L. Taylor, a professor at MIT and a director at AnyKey, which works to develop "fair and inclusive esports."
Some of the Twitch creators involved include CohhCarnage, Cupahnoodle, FerociouslySteph, and Zizaran. Each has been using the site for years and has cultivated huge communities. Each has stated their goals for being on the team, but the similarities seem to be how they want consistency across how Twitch enforces its rules. Zizaran, specifically, stressed how he wants Twitch to clarify its rules on bans and suspensions.
FerociouslySteph, specifically, wants to focus on the voices of marginalized creators.
This is a huge step forward for the streaming platform, which has come under fire multiple times for actions taken against different streamers that many saw as inconsistent. Recently, controversial streamer Natalia "Alinity" Mogollon was banned from Twitch following a wardrobe malfunction and posted to Twitter about how Twitch needs to be clear about why streamers get suspended or banned.
"Twitch needs to come forward and explain the reason that gets people suspended: with a timestamp of the stream and a description of exactly what happened. Publicly. They can create a forum specifically for it. There needs to be records of this," she wrote.
It's also been the at the center of conversations surrounding streamer work-life balance, which has become more important than ever in the age of remote work. Over the years, many streamers have come forward about burnout. Of course, this issue is that even taking a couple of days off can cost a creator thousands of subscribers. There's an expectation for streamers to cast just about every day. CohhCarnage, who's on the council, even says on his Twitter that he's been streaming for 2,000 days straight.
Twitch has been attempting to combat burnout for years. It introduced classes in 2015 to help creators with time management. It's been a known issue, so there's optimism in how Twitch is taking steps to try and tackle the problem.