It’s been an eventful month for Twitch streamers. In December, the platform announced it would accept erotic dances and “artistic nudity,” including the exposure of fictionalized “breasts and/or genitals or buttocks regardless of gender.” After a very chaotic 48 hours, the platform was flooded with pornographic drawings and images. NBC News soon reported that concerning, hyper-realistic, AI-generated drawings and explicit depictions of minors were found on the platform.
Consequently, these rules were swiftly rolled back, with Twitch CEO Dan Clancy explaining in a statement that “upon reflection, we have decided that we went too far with this change.” Still, adult creators on Twitch proved they were nothing if not creative, as they made use of censor bars and specific camera angles to imply nudity in their streams. It was a way for female creators, especially, to promote adult content while complying with Twitch’s nudity rules.
But the infamous “topless” or “black-bar” meta will now be a thing of the past. On Jan. 3, 2023, Twitch rolled out a number of additional rules related to nudity. As explained in a statement, streamers are now not permitted to “imply or suggest that they are fully and partially nude … [including] covering breasts or genitals with objects or censor bars.”
Female-presenting streamers are also now prohibited from showing nipples and underbust, although cleavage remains unrestricted provided “it is clear the streamer is wearing clothing.”
While this rule might appear unsurprising in light of recent events, it appears to disproportionately affect female creators, as pointed out by several creators online.
“We know most men that do streams won’t be affected by these new rules since they continue to do streams without a shirt on if ‘it’s too hot,’” one user wrote. “Double standards.”
Another user admitted that they “firmly disagree” on extra rules only applying to female-presenting streamers, adding that “this is irrelevant and should have nothing to do with covering the nipple. Nipples are nipples regardless of whom they are attached to.” A third user described the terminology of the rules as “incredibly sexist.”
What do you think? Are you a creator affected by this change? If so, please reach out to us at [email protected] to share your story.