Twitch cracks down on inappropriate PS4 streamers
In our review of the PS4 hardware, we called the ability to stream live gameplay over the Internet one of the system's most appealing features. Not all users are using that feature appropriately, though, leading streaming service Twitch to crack down on PS4 streamers who fail to meet its terms of service.
Most of the problematic content involves The Playroom, a pre-installed PS4 app that lets PlayStation Camera owners broadcast a full-screen image of their entire living room, complete with robotic companions wandering about. Some users took advantage of this unexpected feature to great effect, hosting an impromptu call-in show that attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers. Others used it to broadcast footage of an unconscious strip show (somewhat NSFW) and other inappropriate content.
Twitch banned the account responsible for the strip show almost immediately and also began shutting down Playroom streams that feature inappropriate comments as well. The service went to the trouble of reiterating a summary of its terms of service in a series of tweets over the weekend.
'FYI: We continue to moderate according to our Terms of Service,' wrote the company. 'Non-gaming content is not allowed. Non-gaming content (c): If using PS4 Playroom, the content must be about games or gaming and within our ToS. Thanks for understanding. Discussing gaming is gaming content. There are numerous such channels on Twitch, such as One More Game.'
'Twitch has a very strict terms of service policy which is outlined here,' the service added in a statement provided to Kotaku. 'We are very vigilant about removing content that breaks the TOS guidelines and depending on the severity of the violation we will either ban or suspend accounts. In addition to our own efforts, the Twitch community is unique in that it likes to flag content they suspect or know is a breach of our TOS.'
This isn't really a new problem for Twitch, of course; any Internet service that allows for live streaming video faces these kinds of difficulties with moderation. The difference now is that thousands of new PS4 owners are being exposed to this world for the first time and are able to access these streams through the Live With PlayStation app directly through the console (an app that apparently isn't covered by the system's parental controls, either). It might take some time for both Sony and the PS4 community to agree on the norms associated with one of the console's most appealing new features.