The days of Twitch mysteriously suspending popular streamers are coming to an end. The Amazon-owned streaming platform announced yesterday that it will now actually tell streamers who get temporarily banned why they’ve been punished. It only took 10 years, folks.
“As of today, enforcement notifications sent to suspended users will include the name of the content and the date of the violation to ensure they have better clarity about what content is being actioned on,” Twitch Support wrote on Twitter. Based on a sample screenshot, these new explanations will include what the streamer did that violated Twitch’s Terms of Service or Community Guidelines and which stream it happened on.
Temporary Twitch bans are one of the major sources of drama and intrigue on the social media platform. When someone with hundreds of thousands of subscribers randomly gets shut down people immediately begin to speculate about why, and because Twitch has been so vague in the past, the streamers in question rarely have anything clear-cut to tell their audiences.
In March, Minecraft streamer George “GeorgeNotFound’’ Davidson was banned for “harassment via username,” then quickly unbanned, and then briefly banned again. In June, Twitch provocateur Amouranth and model indiefoxxlive were temporarily suspended after suggestively slurping mics and licking plastic human ears. There’s a whole long section in Twitch’s Community Guidelines about sexual content, but it’s always impossible to predict exactly where the company will draw the line. In theory at least, these new explanations will make it a little clearer when and why streamers get sanctioned.
It’s also long overdue. Twitch was founded back in 2011 and later acquired by Amazon in 2014 for nearly $1 billion. It’s a big business, but only because of the content put there by others. Telling creators why they’ve been occasionally locked out of what is for some a defacto job is the least Twitch could do, though still far from what a lot of users would ideally like. Even now Twitch Support’s announcement tweet for the ban explanations is littered with complaints about the lack of transparency and communication around things like the appeals process.