Twitch Might Finally Start Telling People Why They’ve Been Banned

Historically, Twitch’s policy has been to not comment on bans on individual streamers – even to inform the streamers themselves what, exactly, they did to justify the ban. It is often not too difficult to find out in cases of obvious policy violations, but sometimes a streamer is kicked out and we are never told exactly why: an indefinite suspension of the policy streamer Destiny (opens in new tab) in March, for example, generated some pretty solid speculation, but no real confirmation as to why. But that could be changing, as Twitch VP of Trust and Security Angela Hession told Washington Post (opens in new tab) which is looking into including infraction clips with suspension notification emails in the future.

“Security is a journey, and this is our community’s number one question,” said Hession. “So we’re looking at how we can attach more details for people to understand – like the video itself. That’s something we’re definitely working on.”

“Specs and clarity” will be revealed after Twitch figures out exactly how they want to implement the feature, but the basics seem pretty straightforward: Twitch does full disclosure to the streamer in question (and frankly, it’s disconcerting that this hasn’t been the policy from the start) and then leaves the decision of whether or not to make those details public to the streamer. It seems like a reasonable balance between individual privacy and institutional transparency.

Twitch also added a “appeals portal (opens in new tab)” that gives streamers the ability to quickly and easily request a reconsideration of suspensions and bans. This is a particularly important feature for streamers who rely on Twitch as a major source of income, although it doesn’t seem to have done much to improve their chances of reversing a decision. Vice President of Security Rob Lewington said that Twitch had a 99% accuracy rate on suspension decisions, and that rate has increased since the appeals portal went live. “When we analyzed the data, we found that less than one percent is actually much less than one percent,” he said.

That’s a pretty good record, although sometimes Twitch’s policies are a bigger issue than the specifics of their enforcement. In the space of a month in 2021, for example, Twitch demonetized mega-streamer Kaitlyn “Amouranth” Siragusa for streaming from a hot tub, then added a hot tub category (opens in new tab)then banished her again for licking ears in yoga pants (opens in new tab), before lifting the ban three days later. Other enforcement actions don’t seem to have happened: licking ears, wearing yoga pants and other revealing attire remain common and popular on Twitch.

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