Twitch Will Ban Users for ‘Severe’ Offline Behavior, Including Terrorism and Sexual Assault

In an unusual move, Twitch, the Amazon-owned livestreaming service popular among gamers, is formalizing a policy to suspend users if they engage in “severe misconduct” that occurs off the platform.

The company noted that it has taken action before against serious, clear misconduct that took place off the service — but until now, Twitch “didn’t have an approach that scaled,” it said in announcing the new policy.

Examples of serious off-service offenses that Twitch will now enforce against under this policy include: deadly violence, terrorist activities or recruiting, credible threats of mass violence, sexual exploitation of children, sexual assault, and membership in a known hate group.

Twitch said it has partnered with a “highly regarded third-party investigative partner to support our internal team with these investigations,” without identifying the partner. “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,” Twitch said.

The approach is not typical in the industry: Most other services limit their enforcement to behavior that occurs solely on their platforms.

“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,” Twitch said.

Twitch has set up a dedicated email address (OSIT@twitch.tv) for anyone to report “egregious, off-service misconduct” by a member of the Twitch community, including Twitch employees.

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