Following weeks of controversy surrounding the Twitch ‘Hot Tub Meta’, the streaming site has introduced an official hot tub category.
In a blog post titled ‘Let’s Talk About Hot Tub Streams’, the company addressed concerns raised around the subject.
If you’ve somehow missed all of the drama, here’s the TL;DR. Streamers were using the ‘Just Chatting’ section on Twitch to stream themselves sitting in hot tubs or inflatable swimming pools. The activities usually consist of chatting to their stream, though many have been quick to criticise the attire of those partaking.
Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel previous called the trend “trash” while others called it “obviously sexualised. Frequent hot tub streamer Kaitlyn ‘Amouranth’ Siragusa defended the practice, shortly before her advertising privileges were completely revoked without warning.
The official response from Twitch now validates hot tub streamers, giving them their own category to stream to. The company doubles down against the stance that the streamers are “obviously sexualised”, saying:
“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.”Twitch
The company admits that its previous community guidelines operated in a grey area, trying to draw a line on what was overtly sexually suggestive. It reaffirms that hot tub streaming is permitted under its current ‘Nudity & Attire’ and ‘Sexually Suggestive Content’ policies. Such policies state that streamers are allowed to wear swimwear in contextually appropriate scenarios, such as a hot tub or beach location.
What’s the reaction from the Twitch community?
So far, the response has been fairly positive from big names in the Twitch community. xQc said the move was “pretty smart”.
“It’s a band-aid fix, but it’s pretty smart.”Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel
Other names in the industry also concur that it’s a smart move on Twitch’s part to help protect ad revenue. Speculation is that Amouranth’s advertising privileges were revoked at the behest of disgruntled advertising companies.
On the other hand, Amouranth has criticised the move, saying that Twitch has inadvertently killed hot tub streaming. “YouTube, Instagram, etc hide unsavoury stuff with a turn of the algorithm. Twitch obscures it with an overly specific category. It’s a great strategic move for twitch; anything they don’t like make it super specific category,” the streamer says on her personal Twitter account.
That said, Amouranth says she’ll still be making use of the new hot tub category for now.
What do you think about the addition of a hot tub category to Twitch? Let us know across our social channels.
[Featured Image Credit: Twitch/Amouranth]
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