Beauty & Body Art Community Concerns
Since Body Painting has been established as a valid category on the platform, there has been a noticeable lack of encouragement from Twitch in creating a healthy community around it. This lack of support is further emphasized by the massive push back and public harassment of Body Painters online, including but not limited to: Organized hate raids by other streamers, Streamers sexualizing body painters on their own live streams, Public groups that organize mass reports on body painters, Lack of response by Twitch to counter the culture of continued degradation of women through objectification by viewers (including inappropriate usernames).
Twitch has a growing issue on its platform in regards to Body Art, one of its more controversial categories. The streamers of this category are heavily targeted for harassment every day by other streamers and their communities, often leading to malicious mass reports on accounts resulting in account suspensions and bans with little offering as to the specifics of what the offense entails. While the community is grateful for Twitch to include this art on it's platform, the seeming lack of effort to foster a sense of support for the community is disappointing. While it is true that Twitch has offered a recent update to the community guidelines in regards to body painting, they still leave too much up to interpretation. These gray areas leave a number of inconsistencies laid bare on the enforcement of these policies, and leave the streamers feeling a lack of safety in their art. The additional focus, and inequality of these rules being enforced on male presenting streamers as well, also has a play in how the Body Painters are objectified as these guidelines are settled under "****** Content".
Twitch has an opportunity to lead by example and help to change the rampant culture of ****** harassment and hateful conduct on the platform by showing support for one of it’s most controversial categories. After much discussion with over 100 body painters about the trials we face on a daily basis, we came to a few proposals that if implemented would create a better sense of belonging, safety, security and health in the category. Many of these proposals also have the ability to improve the ****** harassment faced by all females on the platform if expanded on.
Being as controversial a category as Body Painting is, the community would like to ask for even MORE defined guidelines. There are too many areas that need further definition, such as how long is a short break when painting since the average body paint takes anywhere from 6 to 8 hours to complete? What constitutes performing unrelated activities? How much coverage actually has to be painted before a stream starts (whole ***? Areola/*** and underbust only? Does it need to be detailed or is a single color ok? Do we need to start with the chest as we paint or starting with the face ok?)? As streamers we've seen inconsistency in enforcement of these rules as some streamers are known to show off a pet on stream in a break from painting, some eat while simultaneously painting, and others may take a moment to answer bigger questions on stream. In many of these situations we've seen some people become suspended or banned from the platform when being threatened with reports while live, and others no severe action taken under the same threats. By further defining time limits, expectations of paint coverage to meet, and what is considered a break versus participating in unrelated activities, it leaves little question to the streamer as to what is allowed, and removes some of the discrepancy between how these reports are handled.
To further elaborate on these discrepancies, we would like to propose that a team of two persons be assigned to review reports against body painters. This can be expanded on to include all ****** content reports that happen live, but is important that there be little room for error when handling these cases. In order to set a precedence for conduct and what is expected, there has to be consistency in the actions taken as well as the reasoning behind those actions. Not only are the guidelines easily interpret-able, but the reasons for suspensions and bans are even more vague and lacking context. If the reports made against body painters are handled by specific staff, that further makes it possible for consistency and clearer definition of the offense when resulting in punishment.
I cannot stress enough how the platform as a whole would benefit from clearer reasoning for suspensions and bans. While it is hard to give time stamps for the offense in question due to the VOD being removed from the site, it would not be impossible to supply a screenshot or clip with clearer definition of the actions being performed that were against policy. Not only does being clearer about policy enforcement help the community by setting clear precedent, it honors an overwhelming outcry to Twitch to honor its commitment to transparency.
There is also a great opportunity here to add in a community manager for the creative category with an emphasis on Body Painting. With a community manager, those streaming in Beauty&Body Art would have a designated point of contact when there are questions or concerns about content they wish to produce. Community managers also allow Twitch to have live eyes on the category and better utilize the warning system as things are happening live allowing the streamer to either end their stream or course correct immediately. This line of communication also narrows the ability of more edgy streamers to intentionally misinterpret the guidelines, and would give Twitch staff in Safety and Policy a better view of the issues and harassment going on. This suggestion is one that has been implemented by competitors, including YouTube, who have active community managers that do outreach to streamers and communities while live.
The list of issues facing body painters is long, and the concern over the lack of support received from Twitch as a category is frustrating. We truly believe in Twitch as a platform though, and the powerful change that can be made in the current culture of objectification and ****** harassment, not only by other streamers but the viewers as well, if Twitch were to take a stance in this controversial category. As a community, we sincerely hope that you will hear our voice, our concerns, and take into consideration our many proposals for solutions. We are open to discussion with policy staff and willing to work to help better the platform as a whole.
There were some discussions that weren’t super applicable to feedback and I have gone ahead and removed them.
We super appreciate the feedback and want to keep hearing your ideas. Please just keep it focused on bodypainting/body art community and feedback around that, over feedback on specific channels/users.
If you have anyone who you are concerned about on Twitch or someone who you are worried about how they are acting on Twitch always feel empowered to report them so our team can further investigate the situation.
July 19th 2020 was the day I discovered body painting was a thing. Ever since then and I absolutely FLIPPIN LOVED IT! You guys are super amazing, super talented, the amount of effort and time you guys put into your artwork is just pure bliss! I'm forever thankful for meeting you guys !! This community is the BEST community I've EVER encountered !
I'm soo sorry you guys have been neglected the way you have been! It's really unfair and makes me really sad ! I wish nothing but the absolute best for you guys!
I have 100% signed this petition and I've shared this round! Wishing for nothing but the absolute best! <3