Twitch Gives a Response on Hot Tub Meta
The hot tub meta of Twitch has been very controversial, and Twitch has finally given a response on it. Some people think viewers are angry over nothing. Others think it’s a terrible thing that gets around Twitch’s indecency rules. On the surface, anyone participating in a hot tub stream is not breaking the rules, as long as they are wearing swimwear. In a recent stream, Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham, Twitch’s head of creator development, spoke about this meta.
It Isn’t Breaking the Rules, But It Is Being Monitored
Everyone seems to have an opinion on the hot tub streams on Twitch, way before the official response came through. xQc went from thinking it’s no big deal to calling it pathetic, for example. Others don’t understand why people are so angry. You don’t have to watch them, you know. These streams aren’t taking away viewers from Call of Duty, Fortnite, Magic, whatever else you’re playing/watching right now. If they are, then those aren’t viewers who were interested in the first place.
These hot tub streams are a pointed topic of discussion, though, and in a “Let’s Chat” stream on April 28, djWHEAT made a response on behalf of Twitch. He says that the hot tub meta is being monitored to ensure that the guidelines they have put down are being followed to the letter.
The reason this hasn’t been stopped is that the guys and girls taking part in the hot tub meta, according to the Twitch response, is that they aren’t breaking the rules. For the most part. Swimwear is allowed in proper situations – hot tubs, the beach, pools. Therefore, the outfits worn are permitted, even if they are occasionally very revealing.
However, djWHEAT also notes that some of the activities in these streams are not okay. That’s the part that Twitch is closely watching. “What has not changed is the sexually suggestive and explicit content is not allowed under the guidelines, under the ToS, and Twitch will take action when that is reported to us.”
So if you’re expecting hot tub streams to go away, I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one. However, the thing that needs to be looked at and dealt with is how the streamers act. They aren’t supposed to be sexually suggestive, and that does wind up happening in some streams. So what’s the issue here? Is Twitch’s ToS too loose, too open to interpretation? Or are these streams not being dealt with fairly? What defines “sexually explicit” on Twitch? That’s the discussion it sounds like Twitch needs to have with their audience. Many streamers have gained wild success on Twitch through this meta, but there are no problems as long as it’s within the rules. What is and is not permissible needs to be clear. The problem will probably come when people who run hot tub streams begin to be punished, as long as what is deemed “sexually suggestive” isn’t clear.