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You probably shouldn't say 'simp', 'incel' or 'virgin' on Twitch anymore

Twitch is updating its hateful conduct and harassment policy soon and as part of the new measures, users are going to be discouraged from using the words 'simp', 'incel', and 'virgin'.

Last week, Twitch announced widespread changes to its policies around harassment and hateful conduct that will be coming into place on January 22, 2021.

As per the streaming platform “women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Black, Indigenous, and people of color” are frequently harassed on the site, and now bold new measures are being put in place to better safeguard the community and create a more positive, productive space.

The new guidelines, overall, are much more specific than the old ones, and actually outline specific examples of what constitutes harassment and unacceptable behavior.

In order to better clarify the rule changes before they go into effect, Twitch announced three livestreams designed to break down the changes and communicate clearly to users what is and is not acceptable from January 22.

The second livestream (above) titled "Town Hall: Overview of the Policy and Enforcement" took place overnight. Twitch COO Sara Clemens took to the broadcast to explain, in no uncertain terms, that 'simp', 'incel' and 'virgin' will no longer be acceptable to user 'as insults' under the new guidelines (thanks, PCGamer).

"Using terms like 'simp,' 'incel,' and 'virgin' as an insult—to negatively refer to another person's sexual activity—is not allowed under this new policy," Clemens outlined. "In addition to the policy change, we're also proactively denying emotes that include the term 'simp.' And we remove them when reported, and we'll keep doing that once the policy changes."

This new guidance is in line with measures that were revealed last week: that “[r]epeatedly commenting on someone’s perceived attractiveness, even in what you believe to be a positive or complementary manner” will also be outlawed.

To put it clearly: don't be thirsty, don't be horny on main.

Though you can, theoretically, use 'simp,' 'incel,' or 'virgin' outside the context of insulting someone, maybe it's best that you start looking for other ways to communicate with your favorite streamer if those words come up often for you: it looks like Twitch really is set on taking a no-nonsense approach to harassment and misconduct in the new year.

It's not just Twitch that's cracking down on inappropriate online behaviour: earlier this week, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft teamed up to release a joint set of principles that will govern a safer gaming environment across each company’s platform.

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About the Author
Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt


Dom is a veteran video games critic with 11 years' experience in the games industry. A published author and consultant that has written for NME, Red Bull, Samsung, Xsolla, Daily Star, GamesRadar, Tech Radar, and many more. They also have a column about games and music at The Guardian.