Twitch has updated its policy to prohibit usernames that contain explicit references to sex or hard drugs. According to a blog post on the Amazon-owned platform, “usernames really matter on Twitch,” and given their visibility across the site.
Twitch believes usernames “must be held to a universal and higher standard than other places people express themselves,” such as chat. Twitch will remove reported usernames that include “references to sexual acts, arousal, fluids, or genitalia” and references to hard drugs under the new policy, which goes into effect on March 1st.
However, alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana are not included on that list. Following the deadline, the company says it will suspend users whose usernames are “hateful, harassing, violent, or otherwise indicative of malicious behavior.”
Existing users whose usernames contain references to drugs or sex will be required to change their passwords. Twitch claims to have a tool that will allow users to reset their usernames while retaining their account history, subs, follows, and bits. Once the username has been changed to comply with the guidelines, the user can continue to use their account without incurring any strikes.
Twitch says that while its current policy has resulted in the removal of many reported offensive usernames. It has a detailed username policy that would guide you in the best ways to choose a legal yet respectful username in the global community.
“We believe establishing a stronger standard is needed to cultivate a diverse, inclusive global community on Twitch.”
Why is Twitch doing this?
In short, usernames really matter on Twitch. They’re your textual avatar in chat and a crucial piece of channel branding for Creators. Usernames are searchable and have site-wide visibility. Given their usage across Twitch channels, we believe they must be held to a universal and higher standard than other places people express themselves — like chat, for instance.
Although we’ve removed many reported, offensive usernames under our current policy, we believe establishing a stronger standard is needed to cultivate a diverse, inclusive global community on Twitch.