Twitch Bans "Simp," "Incel," And More In New Harassment Policy Overhaul

The streamer's new Hateful Conduct and Harassment policy goes into effect on January 22.

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Words like "simp" and "incel" will be banned from Twitch streams and comment sections in a revamped conduct policy that outlines clearer guidelines on what is and isn't harassment.

In a blog post about the change, Twitch writes that the new rules are going into effect because the company "prioritizes minimizing harm to our users over freedom of expression, and we will limit some expression with the goal of preventing [and] protecting users from ... hateful behavior and harassment." As such, a number of phrases will be banned on the platform.

"Simp," "incel," "virgin," and words that negatively target another person sexually and/or insult another person's sexual activity are "not allowed under this new policy," COO Sara Clemens said during a town hall. "We're also proactivity denying emotes that include the term 'simp'. We've removed [and] recorded them, and we'll keep doing that once the policy changes."

The new Hateful Conduct and Harassment policy goes into effect on January 22 and along with banning a bunch of derogatory words, the new changes impose harsher restrictions for violating the rules. This includes indefinite bans, channel timeouts, and user suspensions.

Streamers can read the new policy here, which also outlines several actions that fall under harassment. One example is the Confederate flag in the background of a stream in a non-educational context; another is gestures or language that imply other cultures are primitive. Both actions will result in severe consequences, including suspensions and bans.

This comes not long after Twitch, which has been embroiled in controversy since the summer for its complacency around platform harassment, said goodbye to its co-founder. The company also caught heat from the music industry for its mishandling of copyrighted material.

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