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Twitch updates username policy to remove hateful words

Offensive names will be indefinitely suspended.

Twitch has updated its username policy to remove hateful words and curb harassment.

Usernames with abusive terms are often used to harass streamers, particularly those from minority communities.

Twitch has already removed many reported offensive names, but the new guidelines will set a stronger standard "to cultivate a diverse, inclusive global community on Twitch", says a blog post on the policy.

In addition to names containing hate speech, threats of violence, and personally identifiable information, Twitch will also remove reported usernames that reference sexual acts, arousal, fluids, or genitalia, as well as references to hard drugs (excluding alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana).

To enforce this, Twitch is introducing a tiered approach.

If an existing username clearly violates Twitch's overall community guidelines, indefinite suspensions will be issued.

If an existing username violates the new policy but is not a clear violation of wider community guidelines, the account will be locked and flagged for reset.

If users attempt to create a new username that violates the new policy, Twitch's machine learning model will prevent creation.

The new policy will be enforced from 1st March to allow users to amend their names as necessary.

"We want Twitch to be safe. We want Twitch to be inclusive. We want Twitch to be a place for positivity. Thank you for your continued partnership in helping make Twitch a place we all want to be," reads the blog post.

Though it's surprising it's taken this long for Twitch to create such guidelines, they will go some way in curbing harassment on the platform - particularly hate raids from users with abusive usernames.

You can read the new username policy in full here.

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