Twitch COO Sarah Clemens has announced upcoming policy changes will ban the use of the words simp, incel, and virgin as an insult.
The announcement came during the Twitch Town Hall livestream, discussing changes coming to the streaming platform in the future. One of the hot topics of the livestream was the recent spate of DMCA takedowns and recommended actions.
On November 11th of this year, Twitch recommended users not play copywritten music during their streams, after a large surge of DMCA claims and purging thousands of videos without warning. They also recommended users should review their VODs of older streams and Clips, and delete any that contain such music. Many felt this response was insulting.
This was only made worse when Twitch asked users to delete VODs and Clips they made from the Fortnite Nexus War event, to avoid DMCA strikes due to the licensed music used. This was despite express permission from Epic Games that VODs would not be taken down, and only demonetized one week after the event.
The Town Hall did little to dissuade concerns, with Twitch yet again recommending users not to play recorded music on their stream unless they own the music, or have permission from the rights holder.
Twitch head of Creator Products Jeremy Forrester explained that despite working with several media organizations for live performance licences, most DMCA strikes come due to Twitch being focused on live content rather than VODs.
While VODs can be considered an alternative to listening to music, live content involves different rights. Even so, Forrester states that Twitch is speaking to major record labels to discuss agreements.
Another moment had Monetization head Mike Minton state that blocked adverts meant Twitch could not pay the streamer the revenue they would have received. This is allegedly in violation of Twitch’s own contracts with streamers.
COO Sarah Clemens also revealed that enforcement of those objectifying, abusing, or sexually harassing would be more consistently enforced via focusing on the content of an incident, rather than the intent. This was due to intent being more subjective, and allegedly resulting in some perpetrators going unpunished.
Clemens also revealed that upcoming policy would ban derogatory language based on an individual’s “perceived sexual practices,” sexually-focused terms, and emots based upon them [1, 2]. Clemens specifically mentioned the words simp, incel, and virgin as an insult would not be allowed.
The term simp typically means a desperate and isolated single man, desperately acting submissive and “supporting” to a woman in order to gain a relationship or sex. This can include lavish gifts, giving money, or performing favors beyond that expected of a stranger.
“Twitch Thots” (female streamers dressed provocatively or performing sexual or highly suggestive acts) have also been accused of encouraging simps to donate and encouraging their delusion. Simp has therefore evolved to mean a man donating to a female steamer hoping for attention or sex, as well as (in a jovial context) showing support for anything.
Twitch had been criticized for not enforcing their rules against female streamers who dress or act provocatively, and make the main focus of their streams that content instead of video games. Twitch would update their policies related to “Nudity and Attire” and “Sexually Suggestive Content” in early April.
In theory, it is also likely the term thot (akin to slut or woman using her sexuality for attention) would be banned under the upcoming policies. In addition, the “content not intent” focus may mean even those using the terms without intent to offend may still face discipline.