Twitch Cracking Down on Non-Gaming Streams

The advent of the PS4 has brought in a swathe of new streamers... and a torrent of poor behavior.

Last week, we heard how the PlayStation 4 was being used to host a live video game talk show thanks to the combination of its built-in Twitch streaming and its pre-installed Playroom software. This week, the streaming-related news is somewhat more grim.

It seems that The Spartan Show's high-profile revelation that streaming the PlayStation 4 Playroom software over Twitch effectively allowed you to broadcast live video to the Internet has attracted some... less desirable community members. Over the weekend, Twitch user "Darckobra12" used The Playroom to strip his apparently unconscious girlfriend naked and display her on camera, while other users have been caught having sex on camera or engaging in other activities that are against Twitch's terms of use. Twitch has been cracking down on such uses of its service by banning users.

Twitch clarified its stance on Twitter over the weekend, stating "we continue to moderate according to our Terms of Service. Non-gaming content is not allowed. If using PS4 Playroom, the content must be about games or gaming and within our ToS. Thanks for understanding." In other words, Twitch allows its users to broadcast live game footage or to use Playroom to broadcast discussions of gaming, but not using Playroom to broadcast unrelated live video content, regardless of whether or not it's explicit, offensive or inappropriate.

A Reddit thread discussing the bans noted that it was not just channels displaying explicit or non-gaming content that were being banned -- it was also channels where players' children were visible, or where participants in Twitch's notoriously foul-mouthed chat were making sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate comments, sometimes in relation to the children on display.

PlayStation 4's integrated streaming presents a new challenge for Twitch: a sudden influx of users, many of whom have never engaged in livestreaming before and consequently are unfamiliar with the rules and etiquette of the service. Although it should be common sense not to use your family-friendly games console to broadcast yourself having sex to the rest of the Internet, apparently some people need a bit of a friendly reminder -- perhaps we'll see a prominent "Welcome to Twitch!" tutorial explaining basic rules, terms of service and etiquette in idiot-proof language in a future update to the PS4's Twitch software.

The appearance of these problems also raises the possibility that Microsoft's delay of the Xbox One's Twitch broadcast functionality is based, at least in part, around an attempt to tackle this issue.

Tagged with livestreaming, News, PlayStation 4, PlayStation4, Sony, theplayroom, Twitch.

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