Twitch Working To Remove Non-Gaming Content From Its Service
Twitch integration on PlayStation 4 is an enormous disruptor in the console and streaming landscapes. What used to require an investment of peripheral hardware and/or software above and beyond the initial purchase is now baked into every console. A shift like this also brings about unforeseen consequences.
Over the weekend Game Revolution reported that a couple used PlayRoom, the augmented reality suite on the PlayStation 4 as a way to stream to Twitch. The pair reportedly shared video of themselves drinking heavily, followed by what appeared to be the man undressing his passed-out wife (possibly a crime under the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004).
His channel was banned by Twitch, and the service has reiterated that it is only designed to host gaming content.
FYI: We continue to moderate according to our Terms of Service. Non-gaming content is not allowed. 1/2— Twitch Support (@TwitchTVSupport) November 24, 2013
Non-gaming content (c): If using PS4 Playroom, the content must be about games or gaming and within our ToS. Thanks for understanding. 2/2— Twitch Support (@TwitchTVSupport) November 24, 2013
Discussing gaming is gaming content. There are numerous such channels on Twitch, such as One More Game.— Twitch Support (@TwitchTVSupport) November 24, 2013
Therefore, you can use PlayRoom to host game-related talk shows, as has already been successfully accomplished by “The Spartan Show.” Just don’t stray too far from the topic (or undress yourself or your partner) and you should be fine.
For every new technology, there are people who are going to figure out how to abuse it. In this case, it’s unfortunate that Twitch and Sony are forced to react rather than lay down the law in advance. A forewarning (and even some kind of app-level agreement or acknowledgment) would have alerted people to the consequences of using PS4 streaming for illicit purposes.
Don’t be surprised if there’s an update on your PlayStation 4 very soon that details exactly how you can get your console and Twitch channel banned. Neither company involved wants the bad press that this brings, especially as this situation could be deemed criminal.