Twitch has learned the hard way that if there’s a possible loophole in a platform policy, the people who use that platform will eventually find it – and it’s caused Twitch a number of prominent headaches over the past few years. Effective policymaking, it turns out, can be pretty hard to do, and so Twitch has dipped into its own pool of talent – its big-name creators – to help shape its safety policies going forward.
Together with some hand-picked experts, several prominent Twitch streamers have been chosen to form an advisory council focused on health and safety. The new Twitch Safety Advisory Council, as our sister site The Loadout reports, includes Ben ‘CohhCarnage‘ Cassell, Cupahnoodle, FerociouslySteph, and Zizaran on the streamer side. They’re joined by Alex Holmes, the deputy CEO of The Diana Award; Center for Democracy and Technology director Emma Llanso; Dr. Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbully Research Centre; and AnyKey research director T.L. Taylor.
Together, the council represents a lot of experience in both studying and implementing policies like chat moderation in an online milieu that doesn’t have a simple off-the-shelf solution for rules – and streaming is a medium that’s always changing rapidly.
The Loadout notes that foremost among the council’s duties will be to take a hard look at the way Twitch administers suspensions and bans, and the level of transparency the platform needs when it comes to rules and their enforcement.
However, the council will also be diving into the issue of streamer safety: with records being broken for ‘longest stream’ and most hours streamed in a month, it’s more important than ever for Twitch to be mindful of the health of its content creators.
The council is advisory, meaning it can’t directly set policy on its own, but will rather be providing guidance and recommendations to Twitch on policy decisions going forward. We’re hopeful it’ll be a positive influence that everyone who uses Twitch will be able to benefit from.