Twitch updates policy to suspend users for actions taken offline

Twitch updates policy to suspend users for actions taken offline
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The popular streaming platform Twitch announced Wednesday that it would begin banning streamers for "serious cases" of misconduct that occur even offline.

In a lengthy blog post, the company said that "serious offenses that pose a substantial safety risk to the Twitch community" committed on other platforms or out in the real world would result in punishments up to and including indefinite suspensions for first offenses.

Among the banned behaviors include violent or terroristic threats, harassment, sexual assault and affiliation with known hate groups.

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To assist with investigations, Twitch representatives added that it would partner with a "highly-regarded third party investigative partner to support our internal team."

"Taking action against misconduct that occurs entirely off our service is a novel approach for both Twitch and the industry at large, but it’s one we believe — and hear from you — is crucial to get right," the company said.

"We will only take action when there is evidence, which may include links, screenshots, video of off-Twitch behavior, interviews, police filings or interactions, that have been verified by our law enforcement response team or our third party investigators," it continued.

In the past, the platform has not hesitated to ban popular streamers for inappropriate activity on-stream, but it had previously shied away from enforcing its content and abuse policies regarding incidents that occur off the platform.

The company was acquired by Amazon in 2014 and has expanded from a site primarily dedicated to video game streams to one with users who watch streams of numerous kinds of events, including sports and political discussions.