In a recent update to its username policy, the gaming and entertainment live-streaming website Twitch has announced that despite its continued federal illegality, marijuana will be excluded from the new username ban.
In an effort to continue to promote a safe, harassment, and hate-free platform, Twitch has updated its username policy to include bans on usernames that include references to a number of illicit drugs, but cannabis references, along with alcohol and tobacco, won’t be among them. “We know curbing hateful conduct and harassment is a vital part of making Twitch a safe and fun place to spend your time,” the Amazon-owned company has said.
Anti-Hate, Anti-Harassment, Anti-Drug, Anti-Sex
Though Twitch has yet to explain how usernames with references to other hard drugs constitute hate or harassment, their updated policy is very clear on the subject. The username policy states that in situations where Twitch believes that users may be “acting in good faith,” they will either mandate a username rest instead of outright banning the user. What’s less clear, however, is what exactly constitutes “acting in good faith.”
The policy goes on to state, “In addition, some violations of our standard Community Guidelines in usernames and display names that are particularly sensitive or colloquial may result in a username reset. These situations include:
- References to hard drugs, recreational drugs, and drug abuse (with the exceptions of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana)
- Explicitly referencing recreational drugs or psychoactive substances, such as peyote
- Explicitly referencing hard drugs, including cocaine or heroin
- Overtly glorifying the abuse of prescription or harmful drugs, including practices such as inhalant abuse.”
The inclusion of psychedelics, such as the specific mention of peyote, is incredibly interesting here considering the fact that the study of psychedelics for medicinal purposes has grown exponentially in recent years.
Related Reading: The Growing Scientific Support for Psychedelic Therapy
Along with illicit drugs (apart from marijuana), personally identifiable information, hate speech, and threats of violence, Twitch’s updated username policy will also be cracking down on usernames that reference “sexual acts, arousal, fluids, or genitalia.”
Cannabis-Related Content Creators
Excluding marijuana from its updated username policy is not the only way that Twitch has shown its support for the legalization of cannabis on a federal level. As mentioned earlier, Twitch is owned by Amazon, which recently came out in support of a Republican-led bill that would legalize marijuana on a federal level, says Beth Galetti, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Amazon.
A post on Amazon’s official Twitter this past January stated, “We’re pleased to endorse Rep Nancy Mace’s [sic] States Reform Act. Like so many in this country, we believe it’s time to reform the nation’s cannabis policy, and Amazon is committed to helping lead the effort.”
Twitch has long been a safe and welcoming platform for cannabis, including the monetization of content from creators whose platforms revolve around the cultivation or use of marijuana. Some of Twitch’s main cannabis content creators include the rapper Snoop Dogg (username DoggyDogg20), PotQuest, whose About Me section reads, “Southern California Medical Cannabis Cultivator ~ Cannabis Culture ~ DIY Tutorials ~ Peer to Peer Review ~ Facts & Details ~ NO VAGUE OPINIONS ~ Pioneered Cannabis Livestreaming on Twitch,” and ChefAnnaWithTheTwitch, who documents growing auto-flowering marijuana at home.
Twitch allows users to consume marijuana on live streams as long as those who are streaming live in countries or regions where the cannabis is legal. However, if a streamer consumes marijuana in a country or territory where it is still illegal, he or she may face criminal charges if someone reports it. Some experts, however, have been advising streamers not to smoke while streaming as of yet, because the practice is still deemed highly controversial in the current Twitch environment, according to Forbes.
Twitch’s continued efforts to make a distinction between illicit “hard drugs” such as cocaine and heroin, as well as putting it on the same level as alcohol and tobacco, is another step in the right direction for the massive online streaming platform. We can only hope that their continued support, as well as Amazon’s putting an end to testing its employees for marijuana use, and the $5 million it invested in lobbying for the federal legalization of marijuana will pull some sway with lawmakers.