Every streamer on Twitch is expected to participate in the community by promoting a friendly, positive experience for everyone— both viewers and content creators alike.
However, following the platform’s rules of conduct is something a lot of aspiring streamers are still unfamiliar with.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Here are some effective ways to protect yourself from getting suspended or banned on Twitch as one of its content creators.
Do it by the book
It goes without saying how following the platform’s community guidelines remain to be your safest bet at dodging a temporary suspension or channel deletion. However, these pages may generally take such a long time to fully read and understand.
Unfortunately, there’s no TLDR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) version you may read to completely digest all the platform’s rules. Skipping over some points may just lead you to ignore some specific parts— and you then may blindly pursue your career on Twitch with 0 knowledge of what’s allowed vs what’s not.
Keep in mind that mere assumptions won’t help you once you’re slapped with a channel penalty.
Know your limitations
On Twitch, Arts and Crafts category streamers like those who do Body Art are often the target of suspensions. Hence, Body Painting has grown to be a rather controversial category where many creators have reported being banned for unclear reasons.
For instance, ‘DelightDaniTV’ took it to Twitter to call out Twitch for handing her an indefinite ban from the platform. Case in point? Inappropriate body art.
She later explained how her body art didn’t particularly breach Twitch’s body painting rules, while lashing out at the platform for their seemingly unfair decision.
“TWITCH JUST PERMANENTLY BANNED ME FOR DOING BODY ART, I HAD MY PASTIES COVERED, OPAQUE PAINT, AND WAS FOLLOWING ALL TOS…”
She also provided a screenshot from her stream that landed her in hot water to prove she was clearly abiding by the guidelines.
“According to twitch TOS using pasties + a layer of latexx to cover ur nipple + areola and using opaque body paint is within their guidelines which i followed.”
This is not the first time for a Body Paint category streamer to decry Twitch’s penalties. The platform’s body painting section has some pretty vague rules— similar to what Dani claimed in a tweet.
It has resulted in some heated situations, with banned streamers claiming they have not violated any of the platform’s Terms of Service.
If you’re planning to venture into Body Painting or other non-gaming categories on Twitch, you might as well set some boundaries with your creative freedom on the platform just to be sure.
Keep tabs of streamer violations
Not to be nosy, but it’s encouraged to keep yourself updated with any headlines about fellow streamer violations. That way, you’ll have a solid guide on what you should avoid doing on your next livestream.
This will also allow you to learn from the mistakes of other Twitch streamers, especially if you’re just beginning to establish your name out there.
In today’s world where cancel culture is prevalent, AKA it’s so easy to discredit years of hard work over one mistake— it pays to be vigilant.
Avoid using music
In case you missed it, plenty of Twitch streamers recently dealt with DMCA violations over the unlawful use of copyrighted music on their streams.
Even video clips from years ago were handed warnings, suspensions, or worse— channel deletion.
To avoid getting a DMCA strike, you must be careful in adding any music to your live broadcasts. Awkward silences may be boring, but adding your favorite or trending tracks just to liven up your live streams may result in an unwanted violation.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use any music on your streams though, which brings us to the next point:
Use soundtrack by Twitch
As of October 19, 2020, Soundtrack by Twitch is made available for all platform creators worldwide.
This relatively new creator tool helps Twitch streamers use music for their creative process. With the recent flood of DMCA copyright strikes, it can be rather frustrating and difficult to navigate the platform’s music ecosystem.
With Soundtrack, streamers can make use of rights-cleared music that integrates well with your streaming software of choice to separate audio sources.
Keep your channel safe from any unwarranted DMCA violations! At the same time, this allows you to grow your brand as a content creator further.
Avoid cursing and trash talk
When playing competitive multiplayer games, it’s kinda unavoidable to resort to cussing whenever you’re having bad games or a ranked lose streak.
You might say, a few established streamers found success in having such a reputation such as DrDisrespect and rage-filled Loltyler1. However, you also have to keep in mind what works for some may not work for everyone else.
If you’re just starting to build a name for yourself in such a cutthroat industry like streaming, you need to stay in the good graces of your audience. Do not encourage toxicity— trash talking may just make your gaming community more toxic than it had to be.
Be a good role model to your viewers, as chances are some of them might be avid gamers below 18 years old.
Be mindful of your jokes
Adding humor to your streams is okay. If anything, it adds more flair and entertainment to your streamer brand. However, bad jokes and offensive gags are things you are better off straying away from.
You typically don’t want to offend anyone just because of your poorly thought-out jokes. Racist or example jokes, for instance, aren’t just harmless fun.
In particular, Twitch considers hateful conduct as any content or activity that promotes or encourages discrimination, denigration, harassment, or violence based on: race, ethnicity, color, caste, national origin, immigration status, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, serious medical condition, and veteran status.
If you’re doing it merely for the laughs or you want to establish an edgy online personality, better brace yourself for the online flak that’s waiting for you on the internet.
Do not evade your suspension
Keep in mind that all suspensions handed by Twitch are binding until expiration or removal after a successful appeal.
Hence, it’s better not to evade any decision coming your way. Any attempts to circumvent an account suspension by using other accounts, identities, or by appearing on another user’s account will result in further penalties.
It may even lead up to an indefinite suspension. You wouldn’t want to kiss your hard work on the platform goodbye, right?
Avoid showing self-destructive behavior on camera
As a livestreamer, it’s your responsibility to get a hold of yourself in front of the camera. You need to avoid showing self-destructive behavior in your live broadcasts, even if it’s performed as a stunt or gag made in jest.
On Twitch, any activity that may endanger your life or lead to physical harm is prohibited. Choose other ways to entertain your audience instead.
This includes, but is not limited to: suicide threats, intentional physical trauma, illegal use of drugs, illegal or dangerous consumption of alcohol, and dangerous or distracted driving.
Respect others’ privacy
It’s completely a no-no to invade the privacy of others, even if you’re close friends or established a tight bond with them on the platform.
On Twitch, it is prohibited to share content that may reveal private personal information of others without their consent.
This includes leaking personally identifiable information (real name, home address, or ID), revealing personal social media profiles, and sharing content that may violate another’s privacy— like streaming from a private space without permission.
Do not impersonate
Impersonation as another individual is prohibited on Twitch. You simply cannot take on the identity of another person on the platform, even if you do it to keep yourself safe on the internet.
Any content or activity meant to impersonate an individual or organization will definitely lead to penalties, depending on its severity.
In particular, misrepresenting yourself as a member of Twitch reps is considered as a zero-tolerance violation. This can result in indefinite suspension on your end.
Respect Twitch’s integrity
Avoid spam, scam activities, and other malicious conduct if you don’t want to be permanently banned on the platform.
Partaking in any content or activity that disrupts, interrupts, harms, or violates the integrity of Twitch services or another user’s experience is strictly prohibited.
Based on Twitch’s community guidelines, this includes the following activities:
- Posting large amounts of repetitive, unwanted messages or user reports
- Distributing unauthorized advertisements
- Defrauding others
- Spreading malware or viruses
- Misinformation (such as feigning distress, posting misleading metadata, or intentional channel miscategorization)
- Tampering (such as artificially inflating follow or live viewer stats)
- Selling or sharing user accounts
- Reselling Twitch services or features (such as channel Moderator status)
- Defacing, or attempting to deface, website pages or other Twitch services (such as uploading inappropriate or malicious content)
- Cheating a Twitch rewards system (such as the Drops or channel points systems)
Do not use in-game cheats
Cheating in online games, especially competitive multiplayer titles, may land you in a suspension or ban on the platform.
Twitch prohibits any activity, like cheating, hacking, or botting that gives the account owner an unfair advantage over online multiplayer games. Besides, you wouldn’t be making a bright future for yourself in the streaming industry if you’re using cheats, anyway.
This isn’t solely limited to cheats, though. The policy also covers exploiting another content creator’s stream to harass them while they’re live, such as stream sniping.