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Twitch Bans Two Top Creators For Sexually Aggressive Streams

Twitch is once again struggling with how to handle sexually suggestive streams from some of the most popular women on its platform. Over the weekend, the service banned two top female streamers — Amouranth and Indiefoxx — who had been broadcasting ASMR streams from their beds.

Both streams involved the creators licking a microphone while wearing what appeared to be the TikTok-famous leggings known for making your butt look great. It’s just the latest instance of Twitch making itself the arbiter of what counts as too sexy for its audience and advertisers.

As usual, Twitch declined to explain why either streamer was banned. But the reason seems to be a breach of Twitch’s restrictions on “sexually suggestive” content. The rules ban behaviors like “erotic dances,” showing sex toys for purposes other than education, and perhaps most relevant in this case, posing in ways that “deliberately highlight” a person’s “breasts, buttocks, or pelvic region.”

ASMR streams are allowed on Twitch, and Twitch wrote just a month ago that “being found to be sexy by others is not against our rules.” So, the service has essentially put itself in the position of determining whether a stream is intentionally sexy or merely incidentally sexy. The dynamic ensures this situation will happen again.

The problem is, Twitch keeps finding itself in this situation: women on the platform find a format that pushes the boundaries of Twitch’s rules around sexually suggestive content, their streams become hugely popular, and only then does Twitch decide to crack down in some manner on what they’re doing.

By refusing to make a clearer call on sexually suggestive content, the platform leaves these women in limbo between being top Twitch stars and getting booted from the platform. Twitch attempted to sidestep a similar issue just last month. Streamers had started dressing in bathing suits and chatting with their audience from hot tubs or inflatable pools.

Streamers will continue to “find another way to push the envelope” regardless of the bans, said Pokimane, one of the platform’s biggest streamers. “It’s not specifically hot tubs that were the issue,” she said during a recent stream. “The issue was that Twitch has no way of categorizing sexually suggestive content, and on a platform that the top or most viewed channels are extremely forward-facing, you’re creating an inevitable time bomb for yourself essentially.”

When sexually suggestive streams like these become popular, Twitch faces pushback from two directions. A contingent of largely male Twitch viewers directs misogynistic harassment at the women whose streams are blowing up. And advertisers start to complain because they want to be associated with wholesome content instead of more adult content.

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