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Amazon-Owned Twitch to Monitor Users Outside the Platform

twitch, big tech, amazon, libertad de expresion

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Under the argument that certain “misconduct” outside the platform can affect the online community, Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, will begin to monitor its users outside the platform.

The social media Twitch has gained popularity in recent years for its live streaming service (mainly used by gamers).

It recently issued a statement in which it reveals a new policy that will make it easier to monitor its users outside the platform.

In January the Amazon-owned platform began implementing a hateful and harassing behavior policy in which they prohibit attitudes that go against “protected groups”.

Among the forbidden attitudes we can see the “verbal expressions, images or emoticon combinations that dehumanize or perpetuate negative stereotypes and/or memes”.

Content that insinuates that another contemporary culture is primitive is also prohibited.

Content that supports nationalist ideologies, but not self-determination movements, will also be banned.

The deepening of this monitoring policy outside the platform is clearly stated: “A person is a victim of harassment inside Twitch, as well as outside Twitch.”

Amazon’s social media exemplifies which behaviors will be monitored outside the platform. The vast majority of those that are criminalized are fully justified and legitimate.

Twitch - El American
Twitch’s new policies will monitor users on and off the platform, severely tracking the comments they make, even if they are satirical comments or simple jokes, and even emojis. (Flickr)

These include lethal violence and violent extremism, recruitment or terrorist activities, sexual exploitation of minors, explicit or credible threats against Twitch, among others.

For the platform, these behaviors represent some of the most egregious types of physical or psychological harm.

But there is one that, because it is vague, stands out from the rest. Twitch will also monitor offline and sanction users who lead or belong to a hate group. However, they do not specify what a “hate” group is.

Taking into account that promoting nationalism is promoting hate for Twitch, people who are politically organized around this ideology and are users of the social network risk being censored and monitored in other aspects of their lives.

Comments such as “the [protected group] are bad for video games” will also be banned, as well as using emojis of black, brown, yellow, or red faces.

Rafael Valera, Venezuelan, student of Political Science, political exile in São Paulo, Brazil since 2017 // Rafael Valera, venezolano, es estudiante de Ciencias Políticas y exiliado político en São Paulo, Brasil desde 2017

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