Twitch Nixes Policy Allowing ‘Artistic Nudity,’ Citing AI’s Ability to Create Realistic Images

Two days after Twitch updated its Sexual Content Policy to allow depictions of “fictionalized nudity” — if properly labeled — the Amazon-owned livestreaming platform has done an about-face.

“Upon reflection, we have decided that we went too far with this change,” Twitch CEO Dan Clancy wrote in a blog post Friday. “Digital depictions of nudity present a unique challenge – AI can be used to create realistic images, and it can be hard to distinguish between digital art and photography.”

Effective Friday, Twitch is rolling back the policy about artistic nudity changes, according to Clandy. Moving forward, “depictions of real or fictional nudity won’t be allowed on Twitch, regardless of the medium,” Clancy wrote.

Clancy also wrote that some streamers, in response to the update, “created content that was in violation of our new policy. We’ve worked quickly to remove that content and issue channel enforcements.”

Twitch on Dec. 13 had said it was changing its rules to allow “artistic” depictions — meaning they are drawn, animated or sculpted — of “fully exposed female-presenting breasts and/or genitals or buttocks regardless of gender” if creators label the content as containing sexual themes. “There is a thriving artist community on Twitch, and this policy was overly punitive and did not reflect the impact of the content,” the company said in a blog post Wednesday.

Other changes in Twitch’s Sexual Content Policy are still in effect. While Twitch does not permit streamers to be fully or partially nude, it is now allowing content that “deliberately highlight[s] breasts, buttocks or pelvic region” as well as “body writing” and body painting on “female-presenting breasts and/or buttocks regardless of gender” with a Sexual Themes label. In addition, dances such as “twerking, grinding and pole dancing” are now allowed without a label.

There’s no change to Twitch’s policy concerning games “featuring nudity, pornography, sex or sexual violence as a core focus or feature” — those remain entirely prohibited. For games in which nudity is not the core focus or feature, the Mature-Rated Games Content Classification label is sufficient for incidental nudity.

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