Twitch Allowed Nudity Then Immediately Changed Its Mind, Citing AI

A logo of a shield in Twitch's colors.

After updating its policy to allow some sexual content, a long contentious point on the streaming site, Amazon-owned Twitch rolled part of that decision back, citing artificial intelligence concerns.

Over the last several years, Twitch has faced controversy over its decisions (or lack thereof) regarding content that some might consider sexual. Anything from streamers chatting in bikinis in a hot tub to paintings that include nudity to even merely showing cleavage has been brought up as creators ask for fair and, possibly more importantly, transparent guidelines.

In Twitch’s latest move, the company announced Wednesday that previously banned content, including “fictionalized (drawn, animated, or sculpted) fully exposed female-presenting breasts and/or genitals or buttocks regardless of gender” would be allowed, among several other changes. This content simply needed an appropriate label.

But on Friday, Twitch rolled back the artistic allowances announced in the prior announcement, saying there was “a great deal of new content that was allowed under the updated policy,” which was met with community concern.

“These are concerns we share,” Twitch said in a release. “Upon reflection, we have decided that we went too far with this change. Digital depictions of nudity present a unique challenge–AI can be used to create realistic images, and it can be hard to distinguish between digital art and photography.”

The problem, ultimately, seems to lie with deepfake pornography, The Verge points out. Deepfake porn, false sexually explicitly depictions of real people, has proliferated with the surge in popularity of AI-generated image apps. However, now all depictions of nudity, whether deepfaked, artistic drawing, or otherwise are all banned.

PetaPixel reached out to Twitch for comment but did not receive an immediate reply.

“While I wish we would have predicted this outcome,” the release reads, “part of our job is to make adjustments that serve the community. I apologize for the confusion that this update has caused.”

Image credits: Twitch