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Twitch immediately rescinds its artistic nudity policy

Twitch immediately rescinds its artistic nudity policy


Days after permitting creators to have artistic depictions of nudity on stream, Twitch rolled back the policy citing community concern.

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Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

Mere days after Twitch updated its content policy to permit certain kinds of sexual content, the platform has withdrawn the portion of the policy permitting “artistic nudity.”

“Effective today, we are rolling back the artistic nudity changes,” the update read. “Moving forward, depictions of real or fictional nudity won’t be allowed on Twitch, regardless of the medium.” Mature-rated games will not be affected by the rollback and subject to the new policy.

On Wednesday, Twitch issued a lengthy sexual content policy update to allow previously prohibited sexually themed content including:

  • Deliberately highlighted breasts, buttocks, or pelvic region
  • Fictionalized (drawn, animated, or sculpted) fully exposed female-presenting breasts and / or genitals or buttocks regardless of gender
  • Body writing on female-presenting breasts and / or buttocks regardless of gender
  • Erotic dances that involve disrobing or disrobing gestures, such as strip teases

These changes allowed this kind of content on Twitch so long as the stream was tagged with an appropriate Content Classification Label.

Today however, Twitch said it is withdrawing specifically the part of the content policy that allowed “artistic nudity.”

“Much of the content created has been met with community concern,” the statement read. “These are concerns we share. Upon reflection, we have decided that we went too far with this change. Digital depictions of nudity present a unique challenge — AI can be used to create realistic images, and it can be hard to distinguish between digital art and photography.”

The specific callout of AI seems to be related to the concern that the new artistic nudity policy might enable artists and other streamers to create and display AI-generated “deepfakes” passed off as permitted art.

The spirit of the artistic nudity policy seemed to be to allow artists the ability to draw sexual material on stream without fear of being punished. Twitch’s initial update recognized the artist community on the platform and how previous sexual content policies were “overly punitive.” However, after the changes, it seemed like some streamers took advantage of the new policy to contravene that spirit with activities like using fully nude avatars or stream overlays featuring nude drawings.