New York, NY, December 9, 2020 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) today commented on the social media platform Twitch’s announcement of their updated Hateful Conduct and Harassment Policy. ADL’s Center on Technology and Society had consulted with the Twitch team as they were considering the update, which goes into effect on January 22 and addresses harassment, hateful conduct, and extremism.
David L. Sifry, VP of ADL’s Center for Technology and Society, issued the following statement:
ADL appreciated the opportunity to provide input as part of Twitch's update process, and we are encouraged by the company’s efforts to make its hate and harassment policies clearer and more comprehensive. By articulating how the company intends to address hate, harassment, and extremism on its platform, Twitch can provide a safer and more equitable environment for all users.
Twitch has seen unprecedented growth during 2020, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Expanding from its roots in gaming, Twitch has become a popular and important digital social platform for people to connect -- including for political expression and engagement.
Seriously and comprehensively addressing hate and harassment on digital social platforms is important regardless of size, but we cannot ignore the impact of scale. As platforms grow, so does the impact and urgency of working to ensure they are safe, respectful and inclusive spaces for all people.
Because the success of any policy changes is directly impacted by how it is enforced, we urge Twitch to commit to robust, comprehensive and regular enforcement. Additionally, Twitch is one of the few remaining major social media platforms that has not released any form of a transparency report. Going forward, we urge Twitch to release data on the prevalence of hate, harassment and extremism on their platform.