As December 2023 was underway, some streamers cleverly thought to play around with Twitch’s restrictions around nudity, broadcasting in such a fashion that implied they were completely naked on camera. Twitch, in response, began banning folks before shifting gears to allow various forms of “artistic nudity” to proliferate on the platform. However, after immediately rescinding the decision and expressing that being naked while livestreaming is a no-no, the company is now making it clear that implied nudity is also forbidden, and that anyone who tries to circumvent the rules will face disciplinary action.
In a January 3 blog post, the company laid out the new guidelines regarding implied nudity on the platform, which is now prohibited effective immediately. Anyone who shows skin that the rules deem should be covered—think genitals, nipples “for those who present as women,” and the like—will face “an enforcement action,” though Twitch didn’t specify what that means. So, if you’re wearing sheer or partially see-through clothing, or use black bars to cover your private parts, then you’re more than likely to get hit with some sort of discipline.
“We don’t permit streamers to be fully or partially nude, including exposing genitals or buttocks. Nor do we permit streamers to imply or suggest that they are fully or partially nude, including, but not limited to, covering breasts or genitals with objects or censor bars,” the company said in the blog post. “We do not permit the visible outline of genitals, even when covered. Broadcasting nude or partially nude minors is always prohibited, regardless of context. For those who present as women, we ask that you cover your nipples and do not expose underbust. Cleavage is unrestricted as long as these coverage requirements are met and it is clear that the streamer is wearing clothing. For all streamers, you must cover the area extending from your hips to the bottom of your pelvis and buttocks.”
The company said that livestreamers must continue to appropriately categorize their broadcasts in response to this policy change. There is one exception, though. Content creators who classify their streams under the “Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches” category are allowed to wear things like bathing suits “as long as [the attire] completely covers the genitals,” the company outlined in its community guidelines. Still, streamers must follow the rules of not exposing themselves. Or else. As Twitch made it clear in the January 3 blog post, this adjustment to clothing rules on the platform comes hot on the heels of the nudity meta that dominated livestreams throughout December 2023.
Wait, Nudity Was Twitch’s New Meta?
At the beginning of December, some streamers, including Morgpie and LivStixs, began broadcasting in what appeared to be the complete nude. In actuality, these content creators were implying nudity by positioning their cameras at the right angle so as to show plenty of unobscured cleavage but keep nipples out of sight. “Artistic nudity” is what it was called and, as the meta took over the platform, Twitch conceded, allowing such nakedness to proliferate all over livestreams.
Unfortunately, as things heated up and content creators took it to the extreme by going fully naked on camera—save for black censor bars or carefully placed objects blocking out their private parts—the platform said enough is enough and immediately rescinded the policy change. Now, in this new update, the company is explicitly banning implied nudity and preparing to discipline any streamer who falls out of line.
Kotaku reached out to Twitch for comment.
Company CEO Dan Clancy said on December 15 that “depictions of real or fictional nudity won’t be allowed on Twitch, regardless of the medium.” He also apologized for the confusion this whole situation has caused, saying that part of Twitch’s job is “to make adjustments that serve the community.” So be careful, streamers. If you show up nude on the platform, Twitch will come for you.