Twitch to Suspend Users Over Harmful Offline Actions Under New Platform Policy


Following a spike in violent posts and campaigns of disinformation across platforms, social media companies, including tech giants Facebook and Twitter, have come under fire over their comment moderation efforts. Recently, lawmakers raised the possibility of stripping tech protections afforded under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Acts.

Popular streaming platform Twitch announced on Wednesday that it would be implementing a new policy to suspend users who are involved in “serious offenses” that occur offline, setting the stage for one of the more strictest initiatives put forth by a platform.

The streaming company, which came under Amazon’s ownership in 2014, explained in a blog post that it would be taking action against users who display certain behaviors against members of the Twitch community and those outside of it.

While investigations into allegations may take time, the company noted that a suspension will only be issued once a probe is completed, and if investigators are able to obtain solid evidence, such as links, screenshots, or a police report, of wrongdoing. 

“This partner is an experienced investigations law firm that is dedicated to conducting independent workplace and campus investigations including those related to sexual discrimination or assault,” the company explained without naming the new partner. “They have deep expertise in these types of cases, as well as training in conducting investigations with respect and sensitivity to all parties involved.”

Individuals who are under investigation will only be informed “where appropriate,” according to the release, which notes that it may side-step alerting the user involved “in order to preserve evidence” in cases linked to illegal behaviors.

In instances of false reports, the post notes that Twitch will “suspend accounts for submitting large amounts of frivolous reports, or encouraging others to submit fake reports.”


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