In an effort to help streamers “celebrate themselves and their communities,” Twitch is rolling out over 350 new tags related to “gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ability, mental health, and more” starting this week. Among them are tags such as transgender, Black, disabled, veteran, and Vtuber, and many others. The change comes after years of marginalized creators asking for the streaming service to add them, thus helping fellow community members find content created by safe and like-minded people, a fact Twitch addressed in the blog post announcing the news.
“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.
When viewers talk about why they love Twitch, they don’t just talk about the content. They talk about creators, what they care about, and the communities they have built. By expanding tags, we are giving creators more ways to be discovered and viewers more ways to find communities that they want to call home.”
According to the blog post, Twitch partnered with several organizations — including GLAAD, The Trevor Project, AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, and more — to make sure they “we were being as inclusive as possible” with the new rollout. In addition, the post included instructions on how to report “bad actors who may use the ability to find streams for malicious purposes,” a fear that kept some from being completely on board with the idea.
Furthermore, Twitch is also removing “ally” from the LGBTQIA+ tag, and is instead creating a new, standalone tag specifically for allies. This is a huge win for many members of the LGBTQIA+ community who have expressed frustration with being unable to find fellow LGBTQIA+ streamers due to a large number of allies using the tag.
It takes away from those streamers who are actually in the LGBTQIA+ community when an “ally” uses the tag for discoverability. If you are currently using it and not in the community please understand the concerns of people in community and know why it can not be helpful sometimes
— iamBrandon🏳️🌈 (@iamBrandonTV) December 16, 2020
For those seeking to learn more about the initiative, Twitch has announced they will be going live on their channel May 26 at 9:30 AM PST to any additional answer questions.