ReutersApril 8, 2021 12:16:41 IST
By Elizabeth Culliford
(Reuters) – Live streaming service Twitch will ban users for crimes such as hate group membership or credible threats of mass violence that occur entirely off-site, in a new approach to moderating the platform, the company said Wednesday .
The Amazon Inc owned platform, which is popular with video gamers, said that under its new rules it would take enforcement action against offline crimes that pose a “substantial security risk” to its community.
He said examples of this “gross misconduct” include terrorist activities, child sexual exploitation, violent extremism, credible threats of mass violence, knowingly carrying out or acting as an accessory to a sexual assault, and threatening Twitch or its staff.
“Taking action against misconduct that occurs entirely outside of our service is a novel approach for both Twitch and the industry at large, but we believe getting it right is crucial,” the company said in a blog post.
The major social media companies Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc largely focus their enforcement rules and actions on the content and activity of actual services, with exceptions for certain individuals or organizations that they have designated as dangerous or violent.
Previously, Twitch took into account off-service behaviors related to incidents on the site, such as harassment on other social media platforms. He said he had also historically taken action against serious offenses outside of his service, such as when he indefinitely suspended the account of former United States President Donald Trump after a crowd of his supporters stormed the United States Capitol on 6 January. Twitch said it didn’t. have a large-scale focus on the past.
The company said that users will be able to report such behaviors, but can also proactively investigate cases, for example if there is a verified news report indicating that a user has been arrested.
Twitch said it would rely more on law enforcement in “off-duty” cases and is partnering with an investigative law firm to support its internal team. He declined to name the company.
The new standards will apply even if the target of the offline behaviors is not a Twitch user or if the perpetrator was not a user when they committed the acts. The perpetrators would also be barred from registering a Twitch account, he said.
Twitch said it would take action only when there is evidence, such as screenshots, videos of off-Twitch behavior, or law enforcement submissions, verified by its internal team or outside investigators. Users who submit a large number of frivolous reports will face suspension.
The company said that in cases where the behavior happened in the distant past, users had gone through rehabilitation, such as time in a correctional facility, and were no longer posing a danger to the community, could not take action, or could reintegrate users in an appeal.
He said that he would share updates with the parties involved, but that he would not share public updates on actions under this policy.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in New York; Edited by Kenneth Li and Matthew Lewis)
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