Twitch U-turns on ‘artistic nudity’ policy

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  • By Shiona McCallum
  • Technology reporter

Image source, Getty Images

Streaming platform Twitch has been forced to abandon a loosening of its policy on sexual content because it led to a flood of AI-generated nudity.

It announced on Wednesday that more adult content was to be allowed, as long as it was deemed artistic.

That prompted a torrent of digitally generated nudes, and by Friday the firm announced a U-turn.

“Upon reflection, we have decided that we went too far with this change,” CEO Dan Clancy said in a statement.

He said some of the imagery that had been allowed under the new guidelines was “met with community concern”.

“Moving forward, depictions of real or fictional nudity won’t be allowed on Twitch, regardless of the medium,” he added

  • deliberately highlighted breasts, buttocks, or pelvic region
  • fictionalised (drawn, animated, or sculpted) fully exposed female-presenting breasts, and genitals or buttocks regardless of gender
  • body writing on female-presenting breasts, and buttocks regardless of gender
  • erotic dances that involve disrobing or disrobing gestures, such as stripteases

The primary change involved the requirement for content creation labels on certain streams. Viewers were to provide consent before watching such a stream.

Mr Clancy said the issue had proven more complex than initially envisaged.

“Digital depictions of nudity present a unique challenge – artificial intelligence can be used to create realistic images, and it can be hard to distinguish between digital art and photography.”

The decision came after an outpouring of concern online from Twitch’s art community about the volume of AI-generated nudes which began to bombard Twitch’s art category since the policy change.

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The only exception remains “incidental nudity” that appears in mature-rated games.

“While I wish we would have predicted this outcome, part of our job is to make adjustments that serve the community,” wrote Mr Clancy.

“I apologize for the confusion that this update has caused.”



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