Twitch says ‘kissing or licking’ mic is sexual

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This week, streaming platform Twitch introduced Content Classification Labels(opens in a new tab). These are meant to help streamers label their content when they’re doing something “mature.” These labels are replacing the Mature Content toggle. Streamers are supposed to use Content Classification Labels when their content contains the following:

  • Mature-Rated Games

  • Sexual Themes

  • Drugs, Intoxication, or Excessive Tobacco Use

  • Violent and Graphic Depictions

  • Significant Profanity or Vulgarity

  • Gambling

Kissing or licking a microphone falls under “Sexual Themes.” According to Twitch’s FAQ(opens in a new tab), “Examples of sexual themes include prolonged or repeated kissing of another individual or object, detailed non-educational discussions of sexual topics or experiences, and content or behavior that is very likely to elicit a mature chat conversation.”

Those who love ASMR will know that repeating kisses on a mic is a classic ASMR move. The FAQ addresses this, saying: “To be more direct — many ASMR practices are focused on mindfulness and are not sexual, but we consider kissing or licking a microphone to fall within Sexual Themes.”

Twitch’s Content Classification Guidelines(opens in a new tab) reiterate that this act is now considered sexual on the platform. Additionally, hot tub streams and pole dancing will fall under Sexual Themes.

Twitch and ASMR fans had varying reactions about the news on Twitter. Some claim Twitch is sexualizing ASMR:

While others emphasize that it’s not all ASMR that will be deemed sexual, only kissing and licking:

Twitch won’t suspend streamers for failing to accurately label their streams, the platform stated in the announcement. It will, however, send a warning email and apply the relevant label. If a streamer gets multiple warnings, the label will be applied to their channel and the channel may be locked for days or weeks, depending on the number of warnings.



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