Examples of the Double Standards of Twitch’s rules
Censorship is a pretty unpopular topic – most people can agree that there needs to be some sort of system in place to restrict and ban inappropriate content, but what that content is, is up for debate. Some think that the girls that mainly show their boobs during their streams should be banned, while others specifically seek that type out to watch them – there are some things people can agree on, including violence and the like, but that’s it.
When it comes to the rest, opinions are as varied as gamer(fan)s. Should half-naked ‘streamers’ be allowed to do their thing, or not? Where is the line between a low-cut shirt and a camgirl? Well, in our experience it depends on the subscription-price, but that isn’t the issue here. There is one glaring issue with Twitch’s rules: They are wildly hypocritical.
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We assembled some pretty good examples of just how Twitch loves its double-standards.
1. The Shirt-Issue
Before the change in rules, there was a strict ban on female nudity, but guys with their shirts off were perfectly fine and allowed. This particular double standard isn’t exclusive to Twitch of course, as in most countries in Western society the male chest isn’t seen as sexual and guys can go topless all they want, whereas for women it’s forbidden – so far, so unfair.
After the rule change though, things have changed a lot – no longer are men allowed to stream bare-chested as this can be considered sexually suggestive clothing (they make it sound so sexy). At first glance this may seem like a positive change right? One that fixes an injustice? Well, no.
As it turns out, women are still allowed to use cleavage cams to show off their assets, as long as most of them is covered, it’s fine. Cosplays like the ever-popular Slave Leia costume aren’t allowed any more (well, unless they aren’t sexually suggestive, which drastically narrows the field for female cosplayers!) but low-cut shirts are still okay.
2. The Inconsistency
Rule-breakers should be punished. That is an accepted rule of society. When one commits a crime, one ought to get punished. Generally, when there is video-footage of a crime (or in this case, rule-break) that makes it pretty obvious whether or not said rule was actually broken.
Therefore, it would make sense that a streaming platform, where the primary medium used is video, would have ample evidence to punish rule-breakers, right? Well, no. The girl in the picture is Clarababylegs. As you can see from her outfit, she’s one of those girls – one that got banned for wearing that exact outfit.
Now, whether you think that’s right or wrong is, of course, up to you, but one thing is definitely wrong: She was allowed to stream in that outfit, and only got banned when she did it for the second time. Both cases happened before the rule change and only a few days apart.
In other words: Either she broke the rules, in which case she should have been suspended both times, or she didn’t, in which case she shouldn’t have been punished at all. With video footage proving exactly what she wore and when (this applies to everyone of course) it shouldn’t be hard to make a general ruling on this – if Twitch doesn’t have enough mods or admins to police this properly, the company needs to rethink its strategy, because the current system just isn’t fair.
3. The Sexist Charity
You may have heard about this – a rather sexist charity has recently partnered with Twitch, and they are offering grant money to up and coming streamers. Well, provided they are of the right gender of course. With up to $2000 in grant money, they are supporting up and coming female streamers to help them sustain their channels.
The 1000 Dreams Fund will award this grant to at least two high school or college students every semester – the money is supposed to be used for conference travel, equipment upgrades, workshops and similar expenses that come with being a streamer.
This is intended to help bridge the gap between men and women in the field – despite the fact that there are plenty of female streamers who make an easy living already. Yes, the majority of the ‘super-rich’ streamer-crowd is male, but a grant of 2k won’t help anyone reach that, so it seems a little hypocritical.
The charity thinks that one of the issues women face is a lack of respect – this could well be related to the fact that far too many of them turn their stream into an almost-peep-show, as well as the fact that it is pretty common knowledge that women already make up half-ish of gamers anyway. In other words, that supposed gap doesn’t really exist, nor will a small grant exclusively for women help change the situation.
The fact that Twitch supports the sexist grant is just further evidence of the double standards on this issue – a grant regardless of gender for talented but under-privileged streamers would have been far better.
4. The Importance of Fame
It’s obvious that well-known streamers get more attention, and the more popular they are, the more they get featured in cases of bans etc. That’s alright, but when it comes to being banned or not, Twitch has a radically different treatment for no-names and popular streamers.
One of the things that isn’t permitted is idling – so far so good. Some time ago, three incidents coincided: A streamer partnered with Twitch got so drunk during a stream that he passed out. In other words, he was technically idling.
Around the same time, a popular but not partnered speed-runner does his thing. Shortly after these two, a streamer with about a dozen followers left his stream running by accident – for over 11 hours.
Out of these three cases, only one received a ban – a short 24-hour ban, but a ban nonetheless. Can you guess which one? That’s right, the speed-runner. His technique required some idling as part of the speed-run, and he was punished for it, despite the fact that he was the only one actually playing.
This is more than a little unfair, especially given their relative status of well-known, partner and nobody (sorry dude!). The rules should apply to and be enforced for everyone equally – regardless of how much money they make Twitch. An automated system or the like could help out with that – at the very least idling is fairly easy to detect, and could probably be punished with auto-bans.