Wed. May 29th, 2024

Key Points:

  • Streaming platform Twitch has reversed its recently relaxed policy on sexual content due to a surge of AI-generated nudity.
  • Last week, the policy change allowed previously banned content, including deliberately highlighted and exposed anatomy, as long as the content was classified as ‘artistic’.
  • Following community concern and controversy, Twitch’s CEO announced that depictions of real or fictional nudity will not be permitted, regardless of setting or medium.

Owned by Amazon, Twitch altered its previous sexual content policy last week to permit previously outlawed content, such as deliberately emphasised buttocks, breasts or pelvic regions. Erotic dances involving disrobing or disrobing gestures, body writing, and fictionalised full exposure of certain body parts, regardless of gender, were also given the green light. To view such content, viewers were required to provide consent and stream labels were mandatory.

However, this policy revision led to a torrent of digitally generated nudes. Twitch’s art community, in particular, expressed concern due to a surge of AI-generated nudity infiltrating the platform’s art category. This escalated response resulting in a swift U-turn by Friday of the same week.

Twitch CEO, Dan Clancy, announced the reversal in a statement: “Upon reflection, we have decided that we went too far with this change.” He noted that some of the imagery permitted under the new guidelines had caused community concern and articulated, “Moving forward, depictions of real or fictional nudity won’t be allowed on Twitch, regardless of the medium.” The only exception to the rule remains “incidental nudity” that appears in mature-rated games.

He acknowledged the complexity of the issue, stating, “Digital depictions of nudity present a unique challenge – artificial intelligence can be used to create realistic images, and it can be hard to distinguish between digital art and photography.” Clancy expressed regret for the confusion caused by the policy change and declared the company’s responsibility to adjust in response to community feedback.

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