Simp, a term used to describe lonely men who shower women on the internet with attention (and cash), will soon be banned by Twitch when used as an insult, prompting colorful analyses regarding hate speech and greasy virgins.
The popular streaming platform revealed that the terms “simp,”“incel,” and “virgin” would all be prohibited as derogatory terms, as part of a set of new rules aimed at cracking down on sexual harassment which will go into effect next month.
Twitch COO Sara Clemens said in a live-streamed town hall on Wednesday that the company was taking action because the words are often used to “negatively refer to another person’s sexual activity.” She also announced that the platform will screen custom-made emoticons for the banned terms.
a Twitch spokesperson has provided a statement on using terms such as simp and incel, stating that “using these terms on their own wouldn’t lead to an enforcement but we would take action if they were used repeatedly in a harassing manner” https://t.co/ty1YRgEvIgpic.twitter.com/yAbdT7xiao
The policy revamp is likely to have a significant impact on both streamers and viewers. Twitch has become a virtual Mecca for sexually frustrated men who drool over female streamers, leading to the ascendance of the terms “simp” and “incel” (involuntary celibate).
The decision to blacklist the terms was seen by some as a positive, but perhaps largely symbolic, step towards ending harassment on the platform.
Others were more critical of the move, arguing that IP address bans made more sense than trying to block specific words.
One unimpressed observer complained that “simps” will be guarded from harassment even as Twitch “continues to promote people with a history of sexist / racist ideals WHILE banning small content creators for a few seconds of music.”
Comments echoing similar frustration slammed Twitch for protecting men from insults, while allegedly doing little to shield women from sexist remarks.
I love how @twitch took the time to ban “hurtful” words aimed at men but not any of the terms aimed at women. I get that most of these terms would be covered in harassment; it just seems like preferential treatment towards men.. so sexism. They should ban themselves.
The terms of service update also provided ample ammunition for a barrage of Twitter snark.
Popular content creator jacksfilms lamented the end of his non-existent, incel-friendly streams.
“With tears in my eyes, I am devastated to announce that I am canceling Simp Saturdays on my twitch. The fate of Virgin Fridays doesn’t look good either,” he wrote.
Video game streamer Sam Thorne urged all the simps who watch his content to “get off the grid and go underground. I will signal for your safe return when the night is darkest. In the mean time [sic] I’ll devise a system to smuggle you in and out each stream.”
For other online personalities, the ban was an occasion for celebration… and dread.
“The great virgin and simp wars are finally over. The land is at peace and nature is healing,” joked Irish Youtube star Jacksepticeye.
Thank God Twitch finally cured all toxicity online. The great virgin and simp wars are finally over. The land is at peace and nature is healing.
A less optimistic commentator warned that the new rules would lead to the “RISE OF THE SOY BOYS” — a mocking term used to describe conspicuously unmasculine men.
On January 22, the terms “simp,” “virgin” and “incel” will become against Twitch TOS to use in a derogatory way. This, of course, paves the way for a dark, bleak future endgame: RISEOFTHESOY BOYS pic.twitter.com/VzcexntssU
Twitch has a controversial track record when it comes to ensuring its platform is safe for all users. In May, the streaming platform announced that a male-to-female trans woman who self-identifies as a deer would be joining its newly formed ‘Safety Advisory Council’.
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