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Every community has its set of rules. When we go to work, to school, when we are at home, even in public places such as the bus station or a city square, there are – explicit or implicit – protocols or practices that we follow.

This goes for online communities as well. Today’s topic will be the Twitch Terms of Service breakdown and I’ll go through the Community Guidelines with the aim of helping you understand them thoroughly.

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    Twitch Terms of Service Breakdown

    Terms of Service are a set of rules that represent a binding legal contract. When you agree to them and start using Twitch, you will be liable and penalized if you violate the rules.

    Terms of Service

    1. Introduction: Your Agreement to these Terms of Service

    The important thing to remember here is that the Terms of Service, along with all the other documents mentioned in it (Community Guidelines, Twitch Terms of Sale, and others) have to be followed.

    Everyone who uses Twitch, be they a registered or unregistered user, is bound to obey the rules or be legally responsible for breaking them. Also, if someone creates an account on behalf of an organization, it is considered that they are a real representative of the company and that the company is responsible for any potential breach of the agreement.

    2. Use of Twitch by Minors and Blocked Persons

    Minors under the age of 13 are not allowed to use Twitch. For those who are between 13 and the legal age (whichever it is in their country), a parent or guardian is considered responsible for obeying the Terms of Service.

    Also, users who were banned by the Twitch staff cannot install, download, or use twitch in any other way.

    3. Privacy Notice

    Online privacy is a significant issue that every serious service needs to deal with. Here are the basics of Twitch’s Privacy Notice:

    • Twitch may obtain your personal information in the following ways:
      • Provided by the user (name, email and home addresses, phone number, credit card number, etc.)
      • Collected automatically (information from cookies: IP address, device, and browser, software type, Twitch usage data, etc.)
      • Other sources (if you have authorized Twitch to collect data from third parties)
    • How Twitch uses your personal information:
      • To operate and provide services (e.g. to make or receive payments, allow you to participate in contests or reward programs, prevent fraud)
      • To communicate with you
      • For promotion and marketing
      • In some cases to do some legal work, such as collaboration with tax authorities
      • For some special purposes that you can give (or withdraw) your consent; they will ask you for this
    • Disclosing your personal information:
      • To Twitch’s service providers, with strict obeying of their Privacy Notice
      • To their affiliates, also with strict obeying of their Privacy Notice
      • For legal matters, in compliance with the law in the US and/or your country
      • If necessary for protecting Twitch or its users
    • You have the right to make your privacy choices. If you refuse to give some pieces of information, Twitch may not be able to deliver all its services to you. For any questions or requests in this area, you can send an email to privacy@twitch.tv.
    • You can close your account or delete data regarding that account. In those cases, Twitch may retain some information, as is permitted or required by the law.
    • Third-party websites have their own privacy practices. If you connect Twitch with some other online service, you thus allow Twitch to share some info with them (e.g. your username or your Twitch activities).
    • Twitch Extensions program is a collaboration with third-party services. If you want to use them, you can read about their privacy policy on the particular extension’s page and you can also check out the developer agreement. Your automatically collected information may be disclosed.
    •  Advertisers that collaborate with Twitch can also get your automatically collected information. They have their own privacy policies.
    • The DNT (Do Not Track) found in some browsers is not recognized by Twitch.
    • Though Twitch staff does their best to keep your personal information safe, they cannot guarantee it 100% and you are providing your data at your own risk.
    • Children under 13 years of age are not allowed to use Twitch. If they do, their account and all information will be deleted immediately.
    • In case of a merger or sale of Twitch, they have the right to share the information about all their users with the new company.
    • The data centers, in the US or another country, are to protect your information, and Twitch makes sure your privacy is kept.
    • Changes may be implemented to this privacy notice, but never to provide less safety.

    4. Account

    No one other than you should use your account. If you allow it, whatever happens, you will be held responsible. If you don’t have special permission from Twitch, you mustn’t sell, lease, or share your account in any way.

    You can register to Twitch via some third-party services. It is advisable to check out the privacy policies of both websites in that case.

    5. Use of Devices and Services

    Whichever device or internet provider you use to access Twitch, you are responsible for any fees and charges.

    6. Modification of these Terms of Service

    Twitch has the right to modify the Terms of Services. If you continue using its services after the posted changes, you are considered to agree with them.

    7. License

    Twitch has proprietary rights for all its services and materials. When you agree to the Terms of Service, you will get a limited license to use for your personal or internal business purposes. You are not allowed to sell, distribute, or modify any of the materials on Twitch without a special license.

    8. User Content

    You are allowed to distribute your own content on Twitch. That includes live and pre-recorded videos, chatting, posting on bulletin boards and forums, and more.

    When you post your content, you thereby give certain licenses to Twitch:

    • Twitch can use your content for modification, distribution, derivate works, etc. and it is taken that, if you use any data or material from a third party, you have obtained a license for that.
    • When the content submitted through sites like CurseForge.com is deleted, your rights for them are terminated. Twitch can keep a copy but mustn’t distribute or display them.
    • You lose the rights to your audio-visual content when you delete it, except if:
      • You shared it with others through Twitch,
      • Twitch implemented in into their promotional material,
      • The reasonable time for removing it from their backup hasn’t passed.

    You are responsible for making sure your content doesn’t breach regulations:

    • It is your personal creation.
    • You have obtained the rights for others’ intellectual property, don’t violate any third party’s rights, and don’t defame anyone else.
    • Your content is virus and malware-free.
    • No third-party content that isn’t public is presented by you without a special license; also, no confidential information is made public.

    Even though Twitch uses safety measures, they are not responsible if unauthorized copying or distribution of content happens.

    Promotions are allowed with the following conditions:

    • You must get to know and respect the applicable rights and laws.
    • You are solely responsible for all the aspects of promotion, including expenses. Twitch can remove you from this position if they see that you are not following the rules.
    • Twitch isn’t a sponsor nor does it endorse any of your promotions.
    • When you do your promotion, you will add the disclaimer: “This is a promotion by [Your Name]. Twitch does not sponsor or endorse this promotion and is not responsible for it.”.

    Your content must comply with the FTC regulations.

    You can have political activity, but it must be lawful and it is solely your responsibility. You cannot use any of the Twitch monetization tools, such as subscriptions or bits, for any political purpose.

    9. Prohibited Conduct

    This is the part that probably most users are interested in. Here is the list of prohibited behavior on Twitch:

    • Making or showing any unlawful, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, harassing, or content that invades someone’s privacy.
    • Impersonating others or use their rights on Twitch.
    • Spamming users with unsolicited material.
    • Taking email addresses from Twitch Services.
    • Abusing other Twitch users or trying to steal their personal info.
    • Interfering with Twitch security and proprietary rights.
    • Attempting to obtain the Twitch source code.
    • Making work derived from the Twitch materials.
    • Interfering with the functioning on Twitch, by spreading viruses, malicious code, and similar.
    • Passing on third-party messages without permission.
    • Bypassing Twitch’s security measures in any way.
    • Trying to conceal the origin of your content.
    • Disrespecting any Twitch rules.
    • Using another person’s account without permission.
    • Trying to access areas or services you are not allowed to.
    • Indicating that Twitch is endorsing you or the products you promote.
    • Using Twitch in unlawful ways or for illegal actions.

    Twitch can remove any content they find is in breach of their rules, without prior notice.

    10. Respecting Copyright

    Twitch follows the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and all the relevant laws.

    11. Trademarks

    Twitch has its own trademark with logos, slogans, graphics, etc. They are not to be used in connection with any other brand or product.

    12. Third-Party Content

    Users are allowed to promote third-party content, but these are not endorsed by Twitch nor is Twitch responsible for anything regarding those. Everything that you use (e.g. information, products, services) is at your own risk.

    13. Idea Submission

    If you share your ideas with the Twitch staff, they are allowed to use them without providing you with any compensation for it.

    14. Termination

    Twitch has the right to ban you from using Twitch altogether or some of its services (or to remove any of your content) if:

    • You don’t comply with the Terms of Service.
    • You misuse Twitch.
    • There are technical or legal reasons to stop providing the service to you.

    15. Disputes

    You agree to defend and be on the side of Twitch if there is a need for that.

    Twitch cannot guarantee that the safety of information is 100%, that all the content is completely accurate, that their software is free of viruses and similar.

    Twitch isn’t responsible for damages of any kind.

    Should a problem appear, you agree to first notify Twitch within 30 days and try to resolve the problem informally. If that doesn’t work, arbitration is the next step, to avoid going to court without a bog necessity. All has to be done in compliance with the laws of your country.

    Any action must start within 1 year of the moment when the problem arose or it will be barred.

    16. Miscellaneous

    If Twitch doesn’t provide something from the Terms of Service, it will be considered waiver only if you have it in written and signed.

    If any term here is proven to be unlawful or void, it will not be held valid.

    You cannot transfer the Terms of Service to another person.

    If some content is left on Twitch after you terminate the agreement, the terms from Sections 7, 8, 11, 12, and 15 to 17 remain valid.

    The Terms of Agreement and Community guidelines cannot be changed in a way that doesn’t comply with Section 6.

    17. Requests for Information and How to Serve a Subpoena

    If you have a request for confidential information or documents, you must do it using legal processes, as Twitch will ignore any email or fax requests of this nature.

    18. Specific Terms for Soundtrack by Twitch

    If you use Soundtrack by Twitch, the Terms of Service apply as well.

    A soundtrack can be used only for live streams and it is a breach of the agreement to try and use it for pre-recorded videos or outside the Twitch Services.

    Community Guidelines

    Community Guidelines are there as an addition to the Terms of Service and its aim is to be a guide for users regarding the proper conduct while streaming on Twitch. In this section, I will lead you through this guide and explain what you should pay attention to.

    Note that they update these guidelines regularly and that this text may divert to some extent from the current version.

    Community Guidelines

    Suspensions

    Suspensions are imposed if any of the rules and regulations from the Terms of Service or Community Guidelines are violated. The type of enforcement depends on a number of factors – each case is considered in its own right.

    1. Warnings:

    A warning is a notice that a violation occurred where the problematic content may be removed as well. If the violation is repeated, a suspension ensues.

    2. Suspensions:

    Temporary suspensions last from 1 to 30 days. Too many of them may turn into an indefinite suspension.

    Indefinite suspensions are imposed for serious offenses. In that case, an appeal is not an option.

    Restrictions that are in function during a suspension:

    • Watching streams
    • Broadcasting
    • Chatting
    • Creating new accounts
    • Participation in streams of third-party channels, as that channel may get banned as well.

    Breaking the Law

    You are bound to follow all the laws – national and international. It would be advisable to get to know those before you start streaming seriously so that you avoid getting into trouble.

    Suspension Evasion

    If you get suspended, the wise thing is to obey it all the way to the end. Trying to evade suspension may get you into a stricter one or even to being suspended indefinitely.

    Also, if a suspended member appears in your channel, you can get in trouble. Even if it is through a third-party program, you should take the precaution and limit that person’s communication with your channel.

    Self-Destructive Behavior

    You should avoid self-destructive behavior altogether. You can get suspended if you do anything that may cause you harm. Examples of these behaviors are: using drugs or alcohol, physical harm, dangerous driving.

    Related: Can You Smoke on Twitch – Guide and Best Tips

    Violence and Threats

    Any kind of threat or terrorist act on Twitch will be taken seriously. The Twitch policy has zero-tolerance for that behavior. This includes encouraging others to commit acts of harassment and violence.

    Hateful Conduct and Harassment

    Another prohibited behavior includes discrimination – both encouraging and doing it. The bases of discrimination may be gender, race, religion, disability, age, and many more.

    Harassment can also get you suspended. It includes stalking, hostile raids, sexual harassment, to name some.

    Related: Twitch Chat Rules – Top Basic and Custom Chat Rules

    Unauthorized Sharing of Private Information

    Private information must remain private. You mustn’t share this unless you have permission. What belongs to this group is personal information – real name, address, ID, information from private social profiles, streaming from another person’s private room without permission, etc.

    Impersonation

    Representing yourself as someone else is highly punishable on Twitch.

    Spam, Scams, and Other Malicious Conduct

    It is not allowed to perform any action that harms the integrity of Twitch or other users. Among these actions are:

    • Selling accounts
    • Tampering with statistics
    • Phishing
    • Spreading viruses
    • Unauthorized advertisement
    • Spamming others with unwanted messages or reports

    Nudity, Pornography, and Other Sexual Content

    Users are not allowed to stream or display any sexually explicit content. This goes for sexually suggestive content as well. Especially if they involve children, the user will be reported to law enforcement.

    Extreme Violence, Gore, and Other Obscene Conduct

    The same goes for this as for all the abovementioned behaviors.

    Intellectual Property Rights

    This is very important to remember – intellectual property rights must not be violated. You may share it if you have obtained permission from the holder of those rights. If you do this, your content will be removed and measures such as suspension may be taken.

    Here are some instances of what you should avoid:

    • Content of other Twitch users
    • Pirated games
    • Games from private servers, without permission
    • Movies, sports matches, TV shows
    • Copyrighted music for which you don’t have permission

    Content Labeling

    Be as precise as you can when you choose tags and categories for your content. Intentional misrepresentation in this area is considered a violation.

    Cheating in Online Games

    Any action that puts you in an advantageous position unfairly is sanctioned. This includes hacking, cheating, or botting.

    Closed Alphas/Betas and Pre-Release Games

    In order to obey copyright, you are not to stream games that haven’t been released yet. Of course, if you have the license from the game producer, then you are all good.

    Off-Service Conduct

    For Twitch, it is important that their users feel safe with the members of their community even when they are not on Twitch. So, should there be any allegation that a user is exhibiting harassing (sexual or other), terrorist activities, child grooming, etc, with solid evidence, they will notify law enforcement.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What words are ToS on Twitch?

    based on race and ethnicity, religion, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation. Also, discriminatory speech involves abuse of people for their medical conditions or disabilities, age, physical features, or veteran status. The newest words that are banned are ‘virgin’, ‘simp’, and ‘incel’.

    What are Twitch’s rules?

    The shortest possible version of Twitch’s rules would be:

    – Obey the law and rules.
    – Be polite in chats.
    – Respect others’ privacy.
    – Respect copyright and intellectual property.
    – Don’t be violent in actions and words.
    – Don’t spam and scam.

    Can you get banned for sleeping on Twitch?

    Sleeping on Twitch was not allowed until February 2021 because it was considered to be ‘unattended content’. Now you can have sleeping streams. You should only make sure not to label your stream, as it may be removed because of the wrong content.

    Can you cuss on Twitch?

    Yes, cussing is allowed, but it shouldn’t be too much. If there is much swearing in your speech, you should label your content as mature. However, it is highly advisable to reduce your cussing as much as you can.

    There are several reasons: there are young viewers on Twitch, some are from other cultures where swearing may be a big deal, or you may lose viewers or sponsors this way.

    Can you drink alcohol on Twitch?

    You can have a drink during streaming. However, taking in excessive amounts of alcohol, so much that you start posing a threat to yourself, is a point in Twitch’s Terms of Service. So, in this case, they have the right to suspend you, even indefinitely, should they see fit.

    Can you be shirtless on Twitch?

    Neither full nor partial nudity is allowed on Twitch, according to their updated attire guidelines. Some nudity is allowed for certain purposes such as swimming or body art, but nothing else. So if you are a gamer, you should refrain from being shirtless in your streams.

    Conclusion

    Terms of Service are an important document to read before agreeing to it. It has many nuances that a regular future streamer should be aware of.

    This text represents a shorter interpretation, composed so that you have a basic idea of what you can expect to comply with. For more detail, you may turn to the document itself.

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