It's been a long time coming, but Twitch has finally responded to the hot tub stream meta that has been a huge talking point around the streaming community. However, the organization's response is pretty vague and not exactly what people were looking for.
In a recent stream from Twitch, labeled as a "Let's Chat" stream, the topic of the hot tub meta was brought up. Hosting the stream was Marcus "djWheat" Graham, the head of Creator Development at Twitch. The stream was meant to address the news around Twitch and any upcoming changes to the site, but of course, the hot tub meta is impossible to ignore.
Overall, djWheat kept the response fairly vague. More so than many viewers and creators would have liked. From the sound of it, though, hot tub streams aren't going anywhere.
Graham reaffirmed that the terms of service back up the idea of hot tub streams. There is technically nothing wrong with wearing a bathing suit in the right context, within any body water, such as a hot tub or a small pool.
However, djWheat talked about the sexually suggestive content also associated with some of the hot tub meta. He reaffirmed that sexually explicit content is still against terms of service and that Twitch would be closely watching.
"We understand at Twitch that this has been getting a lot of attention from the community lately, and we have been watching closely. Our nudity and attire policy does allow bathing suits in an appropriate context, and hot tubs do fall under that criteria. However, what has not changed is the sexually suggestive and explicit content is not allowed under the guidelines, under the TOS."
Twitch offers personal solution for hot tub meta, and the community is unhappy with response
After addressing the hot tub meta, djWheat offered some personal-level solutions. The main one was using the Twitch algorithm to tailor each person's viewing experience to the desired content.
He suggested marking streams or categories as uninterested so that such videos no longer pop up in the directory or featured pages.
However, that doesn't necessarily address the problem that many in the community have with Twitch's guidelines. Instead, the rules seem very blurred, and the intent of streamers isn't so straightforward.
Regardless, djWheat emphasized that he hopes content creators won't content shame others in the future, clearly a reference to the hot tub meta.