Twitch Updated its Username Policy

Twitch has updated its Username Policy. According to Twitch, the goal of this change is to set a higher bar for what’s acceptable in a username and to better serve their global community.

In short, usernames really matter on Twitch. They’re your textual avatar in chat and a crucial piece of channel branding for Creators. Usernames are searchable and have site-wide visibility. Given their usage across Twitch channels, we believe they must be held to a universal and higher standard than other places people express themselves – like chat, for instance.

Here are examples of Usernames that Twitch doesn’t want:

  • Usernames that violate Twitch’s Community Guidelines: hate speech, threats of violence, personally identifiable information.
  • Usernames that refer to sexual acts, arousal, fluids, or genitalia
  • Usernames that refer to hard drugs. (This excludes alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana)

Does your current username on Twitch clearly violate their new policy? There’s a chance that Twitch has already flagged your name. If so, then your Twitch account will be placed under an indefinite suspension until you change your username to something that doesn’t violate the new standards.

If your existing username violates the new policy, but is not a clear violation of Twitch’s community guidelines, your account will be flagged for reset and locked until the username is changed. Twitch has tools that allow you to change your username without losing your account history, subs, follows, and bits. Once you change your username, you can resume using your Twitch account with no strikes applied.

Twitch is aware that some people are going to try and create a username that violates the new policy. If so, their machine learning tool will flag the username, and the person will have to create a different one.

Recently, somewhere on Twitter, I watched a short video done by a Twitch streamer who had a person with a very sexual username appear in her chat. The words in the name, by themselves, might have been harmless. If she had read that name out loud – it would have sounded very sexual. In short, the streamer did not say that username out loud. She required the person to change the username or get banned.

The new username policy should mean that Twitch is going to actively search for usernames that violate its new policy, and put those accounts in a “time out” until they change their name. Ideally, this will make Twitch a better, healthier, place for streamers and their audience.