Last Wednesday, Twitch released a sexual content policy that allowed things like drawings or animations depicting exposed breasts when presented in an artistic context. The goal was to give artists more freedom to create sexual content on the platform. Today, Twitch has walked back the part of the changes related to artistic nudity.
In a blog post, Twitch CEO Dan Clancy explained the policy decision, saying that the update was meant to allow artists to use the “human form in their art” on the platform. However, some streamers took advantage by creating sexually explicit content in violation of the new rules.
Twitch also received viewer complaints about content that was technically allowed but still made people uncomfortable. As a result, Clancy said the company “went too far” with the changes.
A key issue Twitch cited was the difficulty of distinguishing digital art from realistic nude images or photography, given advances in AI-generated media. Going forward, any depictions of real or fictional nudity will be banned across the platform.
There also was a great deal of new content that was allowed under the updated policy. Much of the content created has been met with community concern. These are concerns we share. Upon reflection, we have decided that we went too far with this change. Digital depictions of nudity present a unique challenge–AI can be used to create realistic images, and it can be hard to distinguish between digital art and photography.
Previously, Twitch faced criticism for a confusing sexual content policy that was seen as disproportionately punishing female streamers. The attempted revisions aimed to provide clarity and reduce subjective judgments.
However, by rolling back the nudity allowance after only 48 hours, Twitch acknowledged that it had failed to properly implement the changes.Viewers and creators will have to wait longer for a stable solution to the ongoing policy issues surrounding sexuality and nudity on the platform.