Twitch Will Add More Than 350 New Tags To Include Gender, Orientation, Race, Mental Health, And More
At long last, Twitch is finally adding more than 350 new tags that will include gender, sexual orientation, race, and more. This comes after a long and vocal push from trans streamers to include a trans tag that would allow streamers to foster safe and inclusive communities.
This welcome overhaul of the tag system comes after years of Twitch claiming that tags based on identity could become magnets for trolls. Building a community is a key way marginalised creators help fend off online trolls and bullies. Tags aid discoverability, something Twitch is sorely lacking in, and help marginalised creators to build their communities. Unfortunately, you should avoid looking at the replies to Twitch’s tweet because many people are angry at the inclusion of tags they don’t need to use if they don’t want to.
Refreshingly, Twitch has acknowledged its failure to act. In a blog post, the company wrote, “we’d like to thank our trans community for originally requesting the “transgender” tag, and for their passion and persistence in pursuit of that request. This has been one of the most popular requests we’ve heard, and the simple truth is that we should have done this sooner.” The company at no point actually offers an apology, however, Twitch does admit it was “wrong” to maintain that tags should be based on streaming content alone, and not identity.
As well as many new tags being added, the LGBTQIA+ tag will be updated. The company “will also remove references to “ally” from the LGBTQIA+ tag, and are instead creating a standalone ally tag.” This is an important change, as potentially well-meaning allies who were trying to inform viewers that their streams were queer-friendly were inadvertently taking traffic away from queer streamers.
Twitch hasn’t come up with these new tags independently. The company partnered with several independent, third-party organisations such as The Trevor Project, AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, and GLAAD. If you feel there’s a tag missing still, you can use UserVoice to let the company know.
Twitch has recently been at the center of a hot tub controversy. Some streamers have decided to stream in the Just Chatting category from hot tubs. This has obviously outraged many who believe doing this somehow “steals” views from hardworking gamers who are actually playing games. In the space of a week, Twitch has banned the use of the term hot tub, demonetised popular hot tub streamer Amouranth, and completely reversed their position, and created a hot tub channel.
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