In response to global uproar, streaming titan Twitch has retracted its newly announced branded content guidelines that were set to regulate how streamers advertise sponsorships. The swift reversal comes after these new guidelines, made public on June 6, 2023, were met with a torrent of criticism from the streaming community worldwide.
Initially, the proposed guidelines aimed to govern how streamers could publicize their sponsors, leading to a potential impact on charity and esports streams. However, streamers did not take the news lightly. Renowned streamer Asmongold initiated calls for a boycott, and OTK Network, the organization he is a part of, threatened to sever ties with Twitch entirely.
Interestingly, this controversy coincided with Twitch’s Terms of Service update, banning all users, including non-affiliates, from multi-streaming to platforms similar to Twitch. This change sparked another bout of criticism. Prominent streamer Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins lambasted Twitch as being “tone deaf”.
Despite issuing an apology just hours after the backlash, Twitch has now removed the contentious guidelines from its website completely. On June 7, in a succession of tweets, Twitch announced the removal of the controversial guidelines, stating, “These guidelines are bad for you and bad for Twitch, and we are removing them immediately.”
Twitch acknowledged the vital role sponsorships play in streamers’ growth and income generation, promising not to obstruct streamers’ abilities to foster direct relationships with sponsors. The platform committed to working with the community to optimize Twitch’s user experience.
The controversy elicited an apology from Twitch CEO Dan Clancy, who admitted to the company’s misstep regarding the branded content policy. He reassured users by saying, “We will continue to operate as we have been.”
What will happen with Twitch’s multi-streaming ban is up in the air. However, the rapid retreat from the branding guidelines and the personal apology from the CEO highlight the power the streaming community holds in influencing the platform’s policies.