Twitch’s moderation team has confirmed that breastfeeding is not against the company’s terms of service. The move comes after a controversial decision to remove a clip from streamer Heather Kent’s channel following reports over one moment on her stream.
The clip in question shows Kent’s nipple for a second as her one-year-old breastfeeds. The safety operations team took the clip down, according to an email Kent received and tweeted screenshots of earlier today. The Twitch representative told Kent that “it was a difficult position for a Safety Ops admin to be put in during a review of an incident that has not previously occurred on Twitch,” but upon further review, does not violate the company’s guidelines.
“After further discussions between Partnerships, Safety Ops and Trusty and Safety there is alignment between all teams that breastfeeding is not and will not be against the [terms of service],” the statement reads. “As you so eloquently put it ‘breastfeeding is not lewd’ and we agree with you.”
WE DID IT! @Twitch just confirmed what we were saying all along—breastfeeding is NOT sexual & it is NOT against ToS.— HeatheredEffect on Twitch & YouTube! (@HeatheredEffect) August 1, 2019
Moral of the story: Never back down for the things you believe in regardless of the backlash you receive. You can make a difference!#normalizebreastfeeding pic.twitter.com/MvvbiZgwjo
Twitch’s current terms of service do address nudity and sexual content, but breastfeeding doesn’t fall into the same categories. The company’s current guidelines state that acts “such as pornography, sexual acts, and sexual services, including solicitation and offers for such content,” are not allowed. The company also recommends streamers wear “attire appropriate for public settings, such as what you would wear on a public street, or to a mall or restaurant.”
Much of the controversy stems from the clip being posted to a popular Twitch subreddit, Livestreamfail. Twitch removed the clip on the same day it was posted to the subreddit, prompting Kent, who has more than 16,000 followers on her HeatheredEffect channel, to talk about the incident on Twitter. The clip had more than 20,000 views at the time it was taken down.
“We obviously have a long way to go in the fight to normalize breastfeeding,” Kent tweeted.
The controversy has spurred Twitch into updating its terms of service page to address breastfeeding to “provide a level of transparency,” a screenshot of the statement sent to Kent states.
“I hope that clears your mind of concern,” the statement continues. “You did nothing wrong.”