Twitch adds content tags for transgender, Black among 350 others, creates standalone category for LGBTQIA+ ally
In a rather welcome move, the world's leading live streaming platform for gamers, Twitch, has announced that it is going to add more than 350 new tags related to gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ability, mental health, and more.
The announcement was made by the streaming service in a detailed blog. The tag additions are set to arrive by next week and will include tags such as transgender, Black, disabled, veteran, Vtuber, and many more.
Twitch streamers use tags to boost their discoverability on the platform. Twitch had removed the ability to create custom, user-generated communities and switched to pre-selected tags in 2018 - a move which had triggered outcry as it noticeably left out tags for several marginalized communities.
The company seems to be making amends, and it was welcomed by many.
"Next week, streamers will be able to select from over 350 new tags related to gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ability, mental health, and more. The list of tags include transgender, Black, disabled, veteran, and Vtuber, among many others, " the blog said.
Twitch also announced that it will be removing references to 'ally' from the LGBTQIA+ tag and will create a standalone ally tag instead. "We will also remove references to “ally” from the LGBTQIA+ tag, and are instead creating a standalone ally tag. These additions won’t change how tagging works and are completely optional. They simply give creators more choices, " the blog said.
Speaking about what took them so long to take the step, the streaming service said in their blog, "When we launched tags in 2018, we did so to boost discovery, to help creators describe their content and to help viewers find streams they’re interested in. We intentionally designed that system for creators to be able to describe what they were streaming, not who they were or what they stood for. We have maintained this distinction since that time, and we were wrong."
Twitch explained the LGBTQIA+ tag began as an experiment, and they worked upon it based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback. "The exception to the initial design was the LGBTQIA+ tag, which began as an experiment a few years ago and stayed based on overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community. We loved hearing creators share how it has helped grow their community and discover others like them," the blog further read.
Stressing on a diversified Twitch community, the step is majorly meant for creators to 'reflect and celebrate' the diversity. "It took us too long to embrace that there should have been hundreds of ways for creators to share who they are and issues they care about. The Twitch community is incredibly diverse and the tags available to creators should reflect and celebrate that," the blog said.
How would the new tags work?
The new tags are optional and will not change how tagging works. Twitch partnered with “several independent, third-party organizations such as GLAAD, The Trevor Project, AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, and other experts focused on the progress of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and marginalized communities” to help create the tags and be as inclusive as possible.
You can also let Twitch know if you feel that there is a tag that is missing via UserVoice. It will create a database on a weekly basis, taking into account the highly upvoted suggestions and after an internal evaluation will add them to the list.
Twitch also gives the streamers the upper hand to familiarize themselves with the Moderation Tools, utilize mods on their channels, and report anyone who violates Twitch’s Community Guidelines.