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Twitch has a new policy that will ban ‘harmful misinformation superspreaders’

The company says such users are not prevalent on its platform

New Twitch policy will ban accounts that spread misinformation
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Twitch said Thursday it will ban users who repeatedly spread harmful misinformation on its platform. The streaming site said the new rules won’t apply to users based on “individual statements or discussions” on a channel but to users “whose online presence is dedicated to (1) persistently sharing (2) widely disproven and broadly shared (3) harmful misinformation topics,” the new policy states. Twitch considers such users “harmful misinformation superspreaders.”

The company chose those three criteria because, when grouped together, they “create the highest risk of harm including inciting real world harm,” according to a blog post outlining the new policy.

Twitch stressed in the blog post that the update “will likely not impact you or the streamers you love” and added that users who spread misinformation are not prevalent on the platform. But the company recognizes the harm that such users could cause if left unchecked.

The content covered under Twitch’s misinformation ban includes false information about COVID-19 vaccines or harmful health misinformation, election fraud or other content that “undermines the integrity of a civic or political process,” any misinformation “promoted by conspiracy networks tied to violence and/or promoting violence,” as well as misinformation that targets protected groups, which the company notes is already barred under its Hateful Conduct & Harassment Policy.