Twitch takes a harder stance against explicit deepfakes
Images of high-profile streamers put pressure on the company to step up.
Twitch already forbids explicit deepfake images and videos, but it's taking a tougher position against them today. The livestreaming service is updating its policy on adult nudity to include a ban on synthetic NCEI (non-consensual exploitative images), even if it's only shown briefly or to criticize its existence. It's also revising ts sexual violence and exploitation policies to make clear that intentionally making and sharing non-consensual deepfakes can lead to a ban with the first offense.
The policy changes should take effect within the next month. The company hopes the added clarity and modernized language will deter potential offenders. The company is holding a virtual Creator Camp with NCEI expert Zara Ward on March 14th to help spot and deal with malicious deepfakes. We've asked the company if it has any plans to detect deepfakes as they appear, and will let you know if we hear back.
The update comes after an incident in which well-known streamer Atrioc briefly showed a browser tab with a website selling access to deepfakes of female Twitch streamers, including some high-profile creators. Atrioc has since apologized and says he was only "morbidly curious," but that still left broadcasters and viewers angry. None of the women consented to these images.
Women on Twitch are no strangers to harassment, including brigaders who try to get them banned for allegedly violating policies forbidding sexually suggestive content. Twitch has added more tools to discourage harassment and trolling, but critics have also accused it of implementing confusing guidelines that enable abuse and force women to dress conservatively.
Deepfakes can be used for positive purposes, such as clever music videos. However, the non-consensual versions remain a problem and have prompted government crackdowns. Both states and countries like the UK are either enacting or drafting laws that criminialize sharing such deepfakes. In that regard, Twitch is just adding another mechanism to help limit the spread of this content.