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Twitch policy update bans sex and hard drugs from usernames

Cannabis and alcohol are still allowed

Twitch has updated its usernames policy
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Video streaming website Twitch has updated its policy to ban usernames that have explicit references to sex or hard drugs. According to a blog post on the Amazon-owned platform, “usernames really matter on Twitch,” and given their visibility across the site, Twitch believes usernames “must be held to a universal and higher standard than other places people express themselves,” such as chat.

Under the new policy, which takes effect March 1st, Twitch will remove reported usernames that include “references to sexual acts, arousal, fluids, or genitalia” and references to hard drugs. Alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana are excluded from that list, however. After the deadline, the company says it will suspend users if their usernames are “hateful, harassing, violent or typically representative of malicious behavior.”

Existing users whose usernames have references to drugs or sex will be required to reset them. Twitch says it has a tool that will allow username resets that will let users keep their account history, subs, follows, and bits. Once the username is changed to meet the guidelines, the user can continue using their account with no strikes applied.

Twitch says it’s removed many reported, offensive usernames under its current policy, but “we believe establishing a stronger standard is needed to cultivate a diverse, inclusive global community on Twitch.”