Twitch Says Being Seen As ‘Sexy’ Isn’t Against The Rules, Creates Dedicated Category For Hot Tub Streamers

Twitch Says Being Seen As ‘Sexy’ Isn’t Against The Rules, Creates Dedicated Category For Hot Tub Streamers
Image: Amouranth / Twitch

After months of controversy stemming from a perceived loophole in Twitch’s attire and sexual conduct rules, the company has created a dedicated section for pools, hot tubs, and beaches.

In a new blog post today, Twitch announced that it has created a new category: “Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches.” Previously, hot tub streamers largely used the catch-all Just Chatting category, which led some streamers and viewers to accuse them of somehow breaking the rules — despite the fact that they were not actually breaking Twitch’s rules. In the blog post, Twitch clarified this.

“While we have guidelines about sexually suggestive content, being found to be sexy by others is not against our rules, and Twitch will not take enforcement action against women, or anyone on our service, for their perceived attractiveness,” the company wrote, adding that it discourages harassment against all streamers regardless of their actions or intentions. “Under our current Nudity & Attire and Sexually Suggestive Content policies, streamers may appear in swimwear in contextually appropriate situations (at the beach, in a hot tub, for example), and we allow creative expression like body writing and body painting, provided the streamer has appropriate coverage as outlined by our attire policy.”

Twitch noted that sexually explicit content — which it defines as “pornography, sex acts, and sexual services” — is where it draws the line. It acknowledged, however, that its rules “are not as clear as they could be,” and they’ll be receiving an update “in the coming months.”

The company also addressed the recent controversy surrounding the sudden, uncommunicated demonetization of Kaitlyn “Amouranth” Siragusa’s channel, which took place earlier this week in reaction to complaints which Siragusa says came from from a single advertiser (Siragusa told Kotaku in an email that Twitch would not say which advertiser). Twitch’s post seems to dispute this characterization, instead attributing it to “the majority of our advertiser base.” Siragusa, however, was not alone. Sources have since told Kotaku that a number of streamers had advertising removed from their channels, though it seems that not all of them noticed or said anything publicly. This has alarmed Twitch streamers, who are now in the dark as to what’s considered advertiser-friendly content and what’s not — meaning they, too, are at risk of suddenly not being able to make money off Twitch ads anymore. In the blog post, Twitch did not do much to assuage their fears, but it did confirm that demonetization is a thing that can happen now.

“On Twitch, brands get to decide where and when their ads appear,” the company wrote. “Today, they can target or avoid specific categories of content and flag channels that don’t meet their standards. This means that Twitch, in rare cases, will suspend advertising on a channel at the advertisers’ request. We absolutely do not permit brands to use protected characteristics as a filter for advertising targeting or blocking.”

Twitch went on to acknowledge that, in the case of Siragusa and others, it made a mistake.

“We recently suspended advertising on some channels that were flagged by the majority of our advertiser base and failed to notify them,” the company wrote. “Our creators rely on us, and we should have alerted affected streamers to this change before it happened–it was a mistake not to do so. We’re working with individual creators to address their specific situations and restore ads where appropriate.”

To remedy this and other issues, Twitch said it’s “working to develop more robust controls for advertisers and viewers to enable them to control their experiences on our service.” It’s also working on figuring out how to communicate to streamers what exactly “brand safe” means, but this functionality will apparently “take time to build and implement.”

The new Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches category is, Twitch explained, not a long-term solution to these issues. Rather, it’s intended to get the beach ball rolling on addressing streamers’ and viewers’ complaints.

“Creators can continue to stream content that falls into this category as long as it doesn’t violate our guidelines,” Twitch wrote. “Viewers can better avoid recommendations for content that they don’t want to see, and those wishing to view this content will have an easier time finding it. And brands can either opt-in or -out of this category based on whether it aligns with their target audiences, like they can today with any other category.”

Comments

    • It twitch wants to go full cam site they should restrict this content behind an 18+ age requirement and remove it from the front page results.

  • Basically, Twitch stated that the revenue they are getting from these girls is too profitable to turn their backs on, so they’ll just create a category for them instead of kicking them back to CB, PH & OF where they belong. This completely gets them out of the problems of these girls streaming their sexually suggestive content to minors all around the world.

    Twitch has become one of the biggest jokes around. Shame they cornered and control the streaming market. Hopefully one day we’ll see the return of a well-made gaming streaming platform again.

  • It’s bleakly hilarious seeing all the commenters across the internet who said “hot tub streamers deserve to be banned/demonetised and Twitch as a private company are within their rights to do this”, are now the same ones saying “waaah Twitch is just a porn site, how dare they cater for hot tub streamers, why won’t they cater for my frail misogynist sensibilities??”.

    It reveals pretty quickly that their initial reaction wasn’t made out of support for Twitch’s rights to control the content they provide, it was purely to shame women for daring to show some skin. It was never about the rules of the platform, it was about wanting to control how women present themselves.

    • Where is this idea coming from that it’s “misogynists” who are making this complaint? Plenty of female streamers have complained that they can’t wear a t-shirt without a bra, because Twitch will ban them for so much as a nipple showing through opaque fabric, but there’s Amouranth straight up in lingerie in a hot tub and that’s perfectly within TOS. The complaints are *because* the existing TOS is sexist towards women.

      The German Twitch streamer Pandora has made many remarks while showing off her t-shirts/merch to the camera that she’s risking a ban by going bra free and showing more than her normal face cam. So women on Twitch can’t stream without wearing a medieval torture device while fully clothed, but Amouranth can sit in a hot tub making sexual gestures while pretending to be playing video games? I have to wonder who the actual misogynists are when being fully clothed is still a bannable offence because some moron male moderator is on the lookout for female nipples poking through clothing, but women in lingerie in hot tubs are fine and so are shirtless men.

      • I mean you’re divorcing to a tangentially related issue. You’re talking about inconsistent application of rules and how female gamers are concerned that they’ll be demonetised for their attire. Valid concern tbh, but not what I was critiquing.

        I’m talking specifically about Twitch users, specifically male Twitch users, who previously hid under the guise of saying hot tub streamers were bad because they were abusing a loophole in the rules to their own gain. But now that Twitch had specifically said this is OK but relegated it to a specific channel these same people are still complaining about hot tub streamers, thereby highlighting that it wasn’t the flaunting of the rules, but their mere existence that upset them.

        I didn’t say that only misogynists had a problem with Twitch’s application of the rules, only that there is an undeniably misogynistic presence in the “anti-sexy streamer” movement. The ASS movement, if you will.

        • The overwhelming majority of complaints about the hot tub streams have always been related to to the unequal application of the TOS ( not “sexy streamers” or making demands about sexual content), but you are asserting that it’s misogynists who have a problem with Twitch’s . It’s never had anything to do with Twitch as a “private” company who can do whatever they want (including allowing this content) and it’s always been about the sexist behaviours of their moderators in how they approach female streamers who sexualise themselves versus women who don’t sexualise themselves and men. It’s always been about Twitch’s incompetence in managing its sexist employees and had very little to do with censuring their business capacities for allowing sexual content.

          No one cares about hot tub streams if Twitch is going to formally allow sexualised content on their platform, but if there’s going to be hot tub streams then women should be able to stream with a t-shirt and no bra if there’s going to be consistent, non-sexist policy standards. It was the fact that Twitch pretended in their TOS that they were were against sexualisation, only to formalise the category while still showing sexist standards towards fully clothed women who weren’t engaging in the “meta”. This is what caused the complaint about their business standards, not sexual content existing in the first place.

          Absolutely no one with a brain is seriously arguing Twitch can’t do what they like as a private company. It’s an absolutely tiny minority of people complaining about content for being sexy in and of itself (slap on R18 requirements and they’re good to go as far as I’m concerned) and the majority are complaining about the unfairness of the overall system when a certain type of streamer is favoured over another due to the sexist employees.

          While I understand your point that there are anti-sex morons in the world, they’re such a tiny minority of the voices complaining about this situation that they can be disregarded entirely (especially as we all know they stampeded their way over to the hot tub section as soon as it opened).

          • I can guarantee you that the majority of complaints I have seen on various websites, social media etc. doesn’t come from a nuanced take on the sexist application of Twitch’s rules by its employees. The majority of what I’ve seen doesn’t communicate two-shits about the livelihood of other female streamers. Most of what I’ve seen has been complaining that sexy streamers are stealing viewers, or that they’re devaluing the platform, or gross comments about their morality or integrity in how they present themselves physically online.

            I’m sure there has been a persistent voice that is genuinely concerned about what you describe, and rightly so; Twitch punishing female streamers for wearing everyday female attire is a problem. But that is a) not the fault of hot tub streamers and b) not the take I see most commonly in relation to the hot tub meta. It’s overwhelmingly vitriol directed at the female streamers, essentially “how dare they show their body, they should just go back to CB/PH/OF *where they belong*”. Nothing communicates a disdain for women like telling them where they belong.

          • @mogwai “It’s overwhelmingly vitriol directed at the female streamers, essentially “how dare they show their body, they should just go back to CB/PH/OF *where they belong*”. Nothing communicates a disdain for women like telling them where they belong.”
            you deserve a gold medal for mental gymnastics thats for sure. so you are quite literally saying any woman can and should treat any place they like as cb/ph/of and telling them otherwise is misogynistic. so you are happy for adult performers to practise their craft in the middle of pitt street mall? telling them otherwise is misogynistic.
            the point is that there are places where this kind of content is appropriate, ie as mentioned, cb/ph/of. twitch is not one of those places, primarily until they decide to allow it and age gate it. this isnt some attack on women, the same rules apply to men. the thing is, it is 99.9% women that are creating the issue.
            calling everyone an ism, ist or phobe does not make an actual arguement.

          • @lawlorz

            “you deserve a gold medal for mental gymnastics thats for sure. so you are quite literally saying any woman can and should treat any place they like as cb/ph/of and telling them otherwise is misogynistic. so you are happy for adult performers to practise their craft in the middle of pitt street mall? telling them otherwise is misogynistic.”

            I’m the one doing mental gymnastics? You’ve just done a metaphorical standing back salto tucked with a full twist and landed flat on your face. That has to be the one of the biggest misinterpretations of what I’m “literally saying” that I’ve even seen; I’m not even being hyperbolic. I’m going to make this simple for you: performing sex work in a public place like Pit St Mall is illegal. Hot tub streamers have never been doing anything illegal, or even really against Twitch’s TOS (even if it was initially a loophole). And now, Twitch has said specifically that it is permitted. It is in no way analogous to your frankly hilariously absurd comparison.

            “The point is that there are places where this kind of content is appropriate, ie as mentioned, cb/ph/of. twitch is not one of those places”

            I mean, Twitch have just released a statement saying that Twitch is a place for hot tub streams, but apparently you know what Twitch is for better than Twitch itself? Good one.

            “Calling everyone an ism, ist or phobe does not make an actual arguement.”

            I wasn’t calling everyone a misogynist, only the people who have been displaying the behaviour that I pretty clearly outlined. But the fact that you’re being this defensive is somewhat interesting.

          • @mogwai
            “I’m going to make this simple for you: performing sex work in a public place like Pit St Mall is illegal. Hot tub streamers have never been doing anything illegal, or even really against Twitch’s TOS (even if it was initially a loophole). And now, Twitch has said specifically that it is permitted. It is in no way analogous to your frankly hilariously absurd comparison.”
            youre going to make it simple for me when you seem incapable of following along? these streamers are performing softcore pornography ie adult entertainment on twitch and just because twitch says it is ok does not mean it is appropriate. the point is a there is a time and a place for everything, twitch, like pitt street mall is not that place, at least until an age gate is applied, like any adult entertainment business that should exist in pitt street mall would also need to abide. not sure how to make it any more obvious than that, maybe ask a friend for help if youre still struggling to grasp simple concepts.
            “But the fact that you’re being this defensive is somewhat interesting.”
            nothing i said was defensive and this is just another weak attempt at an argument in line with the previously mentioned isms, ists and phobes. youre not improving your standing. branch out from the woke guide to distracting from a debate.

          • Clutch those pearls a little harder. You’re still equating something legal with something illegal. The content in question would barely scrape an M15+ rating. Further, you can’t equate subjecting to the IRL public to something with displaying that same thing on a website that someone has to voluntarily navigate to and click through to view. It’s a completely false equivalence. But all that aside, if I’m to at least try salvage some equivalence out of your harebrained analogy, you do realise that if someone wanted to have a picnic in the park and and frolic around in a bikini in a blow up pool this would be legal and permissible? You’re so adamant that this is smut, what makes you the arbiter of moral decency?

        • So following your logic, Does this mean the next time the woke crowd gets upset at a female comic book character or female video game character being dressed suggestively, I can call them misogynists?

          I thought women in video games and comics being scantily clad was harmful to women.

          • Your faux concern for the representation of women in comics and video games is mind-numblingly tedious, and your question is an a false equivalence.

          • It’s not a false equivalence, You are just too much of a coward to admit you’re a hypocrite.

            If it’s not harmful for women to dress like this on streams its not harmful for it to be represented in Comic or video game form.

          • Coward? Hypocrite? Give me a break. Maybe have a think about who is in charge of this representation and who benefits from the material in those two scenarios you pose. Think about self-representation and autonomy. You’ll arrive at the answer, I believe in you.

      • Just an example of inconsistent twitch enforcement.

        A female streamers young son walked into view while she was AFK – A permanent ban from twitch

        Alinity flashes her genitals -She only gets a temp ban after she asks for one from twitch.

        • OK, so your problem is with the inconsistency, not the fact that she accidentally flashed her breast? You would be fine with streamers like Alinity existing on the platform if other female streamers were given the same leniency that she has been given, to keep things consistent? I just want to make sure I’ve got this straight.

          • You’d be a massive retard to think they’re selling anything other than sex. These streamers will always bend the rules outlined by Twitch in order to avoid having to move to a less profitable or socially acceptable platform. And Twitch will always be fighting a constant battle between wanting to turn a profit, but not piss off conventional viewers and advertisers.

            This has nothing to do with rights of a person, there’s plenty of places they can stream this kind of content without conflict.

          • @iamgoret

            Wow, just going to lead with a massive R bomb to kick off your nonsensical little tirade? At least you’ve revealed your character from the get as someone I have no interest in interacting with. Thanks for that.

          • The enforcement of rules needs to be consistent no matter how popular on the platform.

            If a small-time streamer gets a permanent ban for something small, A bigger streamer should get the same punishment if they do the same thing. There should not be any special treatment for audience size, gender, identity or sexual orientation.

            Alinity should have been banned from twitch long ago. Many of the things she has done have caused smaller streamers to be permanently banned.

          • Or maybe Alinity’s penalties were adequate and the other streamers who were banned shouldn’t have been banned?

          • @mogwai Thats basically the opposite side of the coin arguemtn there … and honestly is also quite correct.

            Whilst Twitch isnt alone on this (YT also has a terrible habit of enforcement issues) it would really help if Twitch would just bloody pick a stance and apply it with some fom of consistency..

            This whole on going drama is all because Twitch cant decide between being a prude and supposedly giving their channel owners freedom. They brought it on themselves when they gave in to the stupid ethot drama and tried to make all streams for a lack of better word “reduce sex appeal”… whilst leaving an obvious loop hole.. said ppl start using loop hole and get an obvious advantage over ppl who dont use loophole, ethot arguments start again becuse perceived inconsistency and the cycle renews with Twitch now apparently clamping down on loophole by removing monetistion and then making the loophole “official” as a category…. wtf?!

          • It’s a site with a 13+ year old restriction. These woman are knowingly and overtly preying on a young teenage audience who are thinking with the fog of hormonal desire and throwing money at them. Are there older men doing the same? Absolutely but they have that choice and are responsible for their own decisions. A 16 year old boy that works at McDonalds doesn’t have the same control as an adult man. When that 16 year old see’s that giving money to a streamer that’s about as close to naked as you can get means she will acknowledge him and if he can give her enough maybe even make him her “Boyfriend of the day” well its pretty clear to any reasonable problem that is an issue. Furthermore Twitch being a 13+ site means it should be suitable for ALL ages 13 and above you cant create and advertise a children’s program for 8 year olds and above but have a segment of that program dedicated to hardcore porn.

          • @rock_m – no arguments from me on that one. Consistency is important.

            @collossuss – given that a lot of the content on Twitch falls under “inappropriate for 13+“ (for example, people streaming R18+ games like GTA V), that argument doesn’t hold water. If your argument also includes that only games rated PG or G are to be streamed, then at least that would be consistent logic. Otherwise, no.

            From Twitch’s own rules of conduct document: “ If a game’s US version is rated Adults Only by the ESRB, you should not broadcast that game on Twitch. However, ESRB rated Mature versions of Adults Only titles are permitted for streaming, such as Mature versions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy.

            Games rated 18+ by other rating systems are fine to stream, so long as they are not rated AO by the ESRB, and they don’t violate the standard language of our RoC and ToS.”

            So, with that in mind, you must be 13 years of age to access Twitch, but not all content on Twitch is suitable for minors.

          • Realised I said “inappropriate for 13+”, when I meant “inappropriate for under 13”. Oops

          • “R bomb”, Who’s showing their character? Playing the offended card when you don’t have a genuine rebuttal. Classic moron move. Failure to apply basic comprehension doesn’t make something nonsensical, it usually just means you’re stupid.
            But look, I get it. You love this kind of crap streaming content and hate the idea of having to pay for it on a lesser platform, you feel better watching them on Twitch because it’s more wholesome than Onlyfans right? Maybe you have a friend who does it and you defend them no matter what. Or perhaps you do it yourself, and you’re just defending your business. All valid reasons to be bias.
            But Twitch changing their streaming ToS just because a bigger Streamer has breached them (and had a bigger whinge), is not fucking cool. There’s no consistency or fairness there.
            You could imagine the conversation in Twitch HQ went something like: “Look I realise in the past we’ve banned streamers for content that walks this line, but this particular streamer makes us a lot of money. We better change the rules.”

          • Man, you are just the worst kind of person. Rude and aggressive, and just wildly presumptuous. If the character I’m showing is one who acknowledges the impact of prejudicial and discriminatory language, then I’m totally fine with that. I don’t make it a habit of engaging with people who have no intention of being civil but, what the hell. Putting all that aside and concentrating on what you said, here’s the thing: you somehow managed a hat-trick of incorrect assumptions, which is genuinely impressive.

            First, I don’t use Twitch beyond an occasional curiosity. I don’t even watch much streaming content; I find streaming bloated and boring. Second, I don’t see the platforms you’re referring to as less legitimate or shameful. I have no problem with OnlyFans or the people that use it; while it’s not a perfect platform, I think it’s a great step to letting adult content creators financially benefit from their work and doing it independently. I’m not an angsty prude. Lastly, I have never streamed online, it’s not something I have any desire to do. So, yeah, good job on completely mis-profiling me.

            Even I, as a relative outside, can see that Twitch’s inconsistency is a problem, and I’ve repeatedly said that. But that is not the fault of a specific streamer and there is precisely nothing wrong with the type of content you so clearly take issue with. Twitch has now clarified this, and you have lost your leg to stand on.

  • Seems like a win / win. The hot tub streamers can continue extracting funds from simps and Twitch can have their cake and eat it too.

    I do wonder where it will go from here though. Streamers will continue to push boundaries, where will Twitch draw the line …

    • I imagine it’ll turn into a bit of an arms race as more sex workers catch on to the format. So far it’s been dangerous waters using Twitch, a large time investment with the constant threat of a ban hanging overhead, but this should change that perception.
      More competition means you’ve got to work harder to catch eyes and there’s a higher chance of competitors giving away too much for free. Same as any industry it only takes one person running unsustainable prices to totally damage the landscape.

  • I know this is irrelevant to the article but can the site bring back up and downvotes? Or has such a question as this been addressed already?

    I understand some of the qualms people have with it but I felt the site was better off having such a feature.

    • The site changed to get more ads on and sacrificed functionality to do it (no doubt due to cost cutting). Games ‘journalism’ and Kotaku is in its death throes.

    • > I know this is irrelevant to the article..

      Not so sure it’s irrelevant to some of the comments though. At the very least the “r bomb” comment deserves the strongest possible downvote.

      • I’d care more if the entire concept of there being an “r bomb” wasn’t an American import. We already have a highly offensive slur against disabled people in British/Australian English – that’s the “s bomb” that Americans keep dropping as an everyday word. If they aren’t catering to our language standards, then why would we cater to theirs?

        • The “r bomb” has been offensive in Australia since at least I was in primary school, but regardless, there is no alternative interpretation associated with its meaning or use in this context that might justify it as some kind of inoffensive colloquialism.

          The phrase is being clearly used here as a slur and using any term historically used to describe people with a disability as a slur is offensive regardless of what letter that term starts with, or which country its use as a slur allegedly originated in.

          If the word was being used as some weird-arse ocker compliment, or if perhaps we were discussing a local brand of toothpaste, then perhaps there might have been some kind of discussion worth having there.

          • The word literally means “slow” and still has regular application in engineering and music based areas as well (as in the Persona lyrics, where all the outrage occurred because an article writer had no knowledge of musical terminology). It’s never been simply a slur, even in America itself where it’s now filtering in from as a grave insult. An insult equivalent to being called “stupid”? Definitely, but not a reference to a specific disability in the same way “spastic” (I’m going to have to specify since I’m not sure if some people are old enough to remember this being the case, before America co opted the language) definitely still is used as a particularly egregious term, but a mild term or insult to Americans apparently.

            The end of the world attitude towards it being used is American in origin, as is the increased severity of the word, since that definitely wasn’t the case when I went to primary school and feels like it’s only popped up in the recentish years (relatively speaking, it feels like I blinked and lost ten years). As far as I can tell, it being an insult was a thing, but it being a slur wasn’t a thing in my schooldays. And I’m not a huge fan of pandering to the failings of other countries to speak their form of English correctly.

          • Man, that is some weird arse post-hoc rationalisation right there. I mean, seriously, do a google search https://www.google.com/search?q=retarded

            And you’ve completely, if not deliberately, missed the point. Obviously you didn’t consider the word to be offensive in primary school because you didn’t consider that disabled people might find it offensive. Kids repeat whatever shit they hear and repeat it completely oblivious to meaning, which is neither here nor there. I was telling people to fuck off in primary school well before I knew what the word fuck meant.

            Self-evidentially the word is being used here in its modern, popular context, not as some weird-arse academic engineering reference.

            And you keep repeating this “American in origin” claim as if it has some actual basis in fact. It’s been used as a slur in Australia literally for decades. Americans probably got it from the Commonwealth, not the other way around. Indeed, in Australia the term had actually started to die out until toxic American kiddos picked it up and re-popularised it.

          • One final comment. Angora, I’m going to level with you – you’ve already exposed yourself as a racist and sexist who doesn’t give a single solitary shit about what actual minority experiences are when they contradict your white saviour viewpoints. Closing the comments section of an article won’t ever erase what you said to me and that tells me everything I need to know on how you really feel about these issues.

            I don’t care and nor will I ever care about your stance on how minorities should feel about anything. You’re a hypocrite and I don’t care about your opinions in this regard because they don’t mean anything coming from you in particular. We good?

          • Apparently not, but nice to see that when everything else fails we can all fall back on straight abuse.

            I’m guessing that you’re still bitter about me calling you out on your unrelenting claims to be the sole and only representative opinion on behalf of all Australians, Kotaku readers, and whatever other arbitrary group that happens to be the topic of today’s discussion, yes?

          • Angora, as a racist and sexist pretending to be on the sides of minorities you clearly don’t care about, you’re worthy of being “abused” (to use your own term), since you’re now playing the victim after facing the consequences of your own behaviour. I’m not going to waste my time arguing about minority issues with a hypocrite who doesn’t actually care about the opinions of minorities on topics that pertain to them.

            You threw a fit because it broke your brain that LGBT Middle Easterners exist in Australia and, shockingly enough, can also be women and disagree with you (it’s almost like I’m here for a reason on account of those traits). Refer to the previous comment.

          • I think you may have confused me with someone else.

            My main issue with you has always been your constant claims to be speaking on behalf of whatever arbitrary group you decide to be the sole and exclusive spokesperson of that particular day, more than one of which I happen to be a member of and you are most certainly not speaking on behalf of me.

            Your opinions are your own, but the minute you claim to be speaking on behalf of others you should prepare to be called out on that.

        • It’s not about Australians catering to Americans, it’s about able bodied people trying to minimise harm to the disabled community. Besides, given this is Kotaku Australia, it’s likely that there are no Americans here – it’s just one Australian calling another the R-word, which is juvenile and gross behaviour.

          And I’ve definitely heard the R-word used in Australia since at least the early 90s, but it doesn’t really matter where the word came from. There’s a certain racist slur that is American-centric, but is almost unanimously regarded as word you can’t say, even in Australia. If you know particular language is harmful, best not just throw it around. And if you do, don’t act all shocked when you get called out for it.

          (To be clear, I’m using the non-specific “you”, I know you weren’t the one who used it above)

          • See the above response.

            In addition to that though, America doesn’t own the word and has never owned the insult as some exclusive term and I’m tired of being expected to care about a dialect of language I don’t speak and don’t particularly want to speak on account of not being American. I’m not walking on eggshells because it might offend someone in another country who doesn’t understand that the rest of the world isn’t an extension of their country. If they’re offended by that, I don’t particularly care when they’re happy to use the “s” word and clearly have no respect for other English dialect speakers themselves (and in my experience, don’t even know that said dialects exist).

          • And for added clarity, I think the American dialect usage of the word should fuck right off, but I strongly doubt that’s the context in which I’ve heard it used locally as part of our dialect. Maybe with some younger people, they are using the American slur specific meaning, and I do disagree with that as you’ve pointed out.

          • Your issue appears to be that you don’t want to cater to disrespectful American who are using a word that is offensive here and so it doesn’t matter if we use a word that is offensive there. But you’re focussing on the wrong demographic. The suggestion isn’t to moderate your language for the benefit of “Americans”, it’s to show some empathy and sensitivity to the disabled community worldwide. It is thoroughly established in discourse here that the R-word is considered to be damaging and offensive in Australia, that should be the beginning and end of it.

            “I think the American dialect usage of the word should fuck right off, but I strongly doubt that’s the context in which I’ve heard it used locally as part of our dialect. ”

            I’m sorry but I think you’re being too optimistic or naive. The context it is used here in Australia as an insult is absolutely in reference to people with mental or physical disabilities in the vast majority of cases. Especially where it’s posed as a noun, as in the case of the commenter above, i.e. “you must be a r*****”. That is as unambiguous as it gets.

            If you were to go out and poll 100 people about what the first thing they think of when they hear the R-word, it would be a small minority that would say something about “slowing down or impeding”, probably engineers and physicists. The vast majority would associate it with disability and the slur usage. And that number would increase to almost 100% if you posed the question with the word in noun form.

          • To who exactly in Australia is it really offensive to? The people who speak our flavour of the language correctly or the people who think we’re an offshoot of America? Over here it’s been used to refer to stupid people for longer than the internet’s been a thing in this country, not a reference to any particular disability and it’s revisionist history to pretend that this usage of it doesn’t exist. I’m sure the American flavour of the word is quite offensive, but we’re not American and I’m not curating my speech (or anyone else’s as far as Australians go) for the illiterate in this country, or America or any other country. Our version, for want of a better term, of “retard” has long been “spastic” and you’ll never see me use that term as an insult for anyone. It has a far longer and far nastier history to it than “retard” ever will as a word as a result of people being utter bastards.

            Play World of Warcraft for five minutes on Australian servers and you’ll see the term “retard” being applied almost exclusively to people considered too stupid to follow simple instructions such as “don’t stand in that one shot mechanic”, which has absolutely nothing to do with any disabilities. When I went to school, the word was applied to profoundly stupid people, not people with actual physical or mental disabilities, but people who specifically should have known better and were perfectly capable of being better. While the American taint of the word might’ve crept into the vocabulary of morons in modern times, that doesn’t mean I should have to care about their inability to use words properly. If these people want to use it as a slur in the sense that they’re referring to an actual disability, then they can live with those consequences.

            I’d put my money on the majority of people would think the term refers to an “idiot” or stupid person (with no disability attached), because that’s the meaning it’s largely held here before the internet wafted over America’s noxious fumes. But without there being an actual survey done, it’s hard to say which age demographic knows which version of the word, its history or even knows the history of our own most egregious words that shouldn’t be used.

            That being said, we can agree to disagree. I’m not going to going to get involved in word policing when 99% of Americans think that “I’m such a spazz” is non-offensive, while not understanding anything about the history of the word.

          • mogwai and angora out to police everyones speech and get offended on behalf of others. there is nothing wrong with the use of either retard or spastic. they have their uses like any other word in the language. if you think using those words is “juvenile and gross behaviour” youre welcome to that opinion. offence is taken, not given. and it really helps no one when youre taking it on behalf of others you view as too weak to take it on their own.

          • @louie – “Over here it’s been used to refer to stupid people for longer than the internet’s been a thing in this country, not a reference to any particular disability and it’s revisionist history to pretend that this usage of it doesn’t exist.”

            I feel like I’m being trolled right now, but I’ll take this at face value just in case you’re being genuine. You seem to be unable to grasp the reason why the R-word is used to refer to “stupid people”, as you say. It comes from the dated and harmful notion that people with mental disabilities–previously referred to as r*******–were lacking in intellect. To call someone the R-word in reference to their apparent stupidity, is a *direct* appropriation of the word to equate them to someone with a mental disability.

            “I’m not going to going to get involved in word policing when 99% of Americans think that “I’m such a spazz” is non-offensive, while not understanding anything about the history of the word.”

            And I feel like I can’t make myself any more clear when I say “it not about catering to Americans, it’s about being empathetic and mindful of the harm caused to the disabled community”. American’s using s****** as an insult doesn’t give you carte blanche to use r***** as an insult. They are both bad, they are both rooted in prejudice against the disabled community, and if you care at all about how language can harm others, then I’d encourage you to cut them both out of your vocabulary.

            @lowlorz – “offence is taken, not given. and it really helps no one when youre taking it on behalf of others you view as too weak to take it on their own.”

            This is some high school school pseudo-intellectual nonsense. It’s about having empathy and not being a piece of shit person who has no care for how their actions affect others. Offence can be intended and if you go around using language like that, then you can’t claim to not be intending to cause offence, no matter how much you spout that inane little adage. But your reply tells me you’re far too cooked to even begin to take that on board, so really I’m just wasting my time here.

    • The site was better off with you being able to participate in a drive-by downvote popularity contest* without having to put your name out there to let us know what you really think?

      * disclaimer: the results of this survey reflect the views of people who have chosen to participate and are not scientific.

    • Two things:

      1. They didn’t demonetise them. They created a new category for this content that advertisers can choose to have their adverts appear on, or if they feel it goes against their brand, then they can opt out.

      2. Who hurt you to make you this way?

  • @mogwai I noticed you have avoided my only real concern of the whole situation being the sexual predation of teenagers in order to rob their of their money. Like it or not that’s the real issue here and it boggles my mind that that isn’t what the biggest complaint is over fair rule enforcement. You can’t deny what they are doing is highly immoral and predatory.
    Unless you think it’s ok for teenage boys to be sexually taken advantage of for financial gain?

    • I’ve demonstrated to you that, while the terms of Twitch state that you have to be 13+ to access Twitch, there is content that is not suitable for minors. Adult content is present in all categories: in video games, in just chatting, in hot tubs/beaches, and so on. It is not the fault of the streamer if people of inappropriate age access their content, any more than it’s the fault of a video game developer if someone under age buys their game. That is the fault of parenting. If you think that female streamers are corrupting innocent minds through hot tub streams, then you should equally take issue with people streaming R18+ rated games on Twitch because they might be exposing minors things that are not appropriate for their age group. Why is it that the type of person who is so pro-freedom of speech and anti-censorship, all of a sudden clutches their pearls when it’s a woman taking control of her own body in a professional sense?

      Don’t bother replying to this, by the way. I’m done with this comment section after tonight. It’s getting tedious checking it for replies and my work week starts tomorrow so I have better things to be doing than arguing with people like you.

    • A small mea culpa: I jumped down your throat pretty intensely just there because I incorrectly assumed you been the one throwing around the gross ableist language up there, when that was in fact iamgoret. Everything in my first paragraphs stands, but I apologise for the tone of the second paragraph.

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