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Communities Policies and Guide

Last Updated: Jul 13, 2017 10:32AM PDT

Communities Policies and Guide

This article explains Communities Policies, how to use Communities as a broadcaster, as well as how to create and maintain Community, and other frequently asked questions.

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Communities are a new discovery tool that helps broadcasters connect to their most relevant audiences, and helps viewers to discover content that fits their interests easier and faster than ever. Enabling the creation of user-generated, public groups centered around specific interests or activities, Communities puts more power to discover, share, and connect with new content, friends, and followers in the hands of our users.

Broadcasters and viewers will be able to create Communities with their own rules (so long as they adhere to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines) and designate moderators to help them enforce their rules.

Finding a Community to watch:
Communities can be found from the Communities directory page, similar to the Games directory. Just like the games directory, the Communities directory is organized by viewer count, however, Featured Communities appear on the front page of the Communities directory, while the rest of the Communities will appear on another page via the "All" tab.

Featured Communities are a roster of around 50 Communities that have been selected by Twitch staff. The criteria to be considered for Featured Communities are:
  • a non-default avatar and banner image; and
  • a clearly understandable title, description, and set of rules; and
  • does not revolve around an individual or a specific team, nor any specification that affiliation with a particular broadcaster is necessary.
Featured Communities will be updated periodically.

Index (click to jump to):
Communities Policies
    Community Moderation and Rules Enforcement
    Inclusivity Policy
    Inactivity, Squatting, and Reassigning Community Names
    Trademark Rights
How to Report Violations
How to Create a Community
How to Moderate a Community
Frequently Asked Questions

 

Community Moderation and Rules Enforcement

Communities must comply with Twitch’s policies, including Community Guidelines, Terms of Service, and DMCA Guidelines. Account status and conduct of Community leaders, moderators, and the aggregate conduct of other members are factors considered when reviewing for compliance.

In order to assist in maintaining compliance with Twitch policies, communities should have a clear, public set of rules and enforce those consistently. Community rules must align with or be a subset of Twitch policies, and must not violate or act in bad faith of Twitch policies. Further, all moderation actions (timeouts/bans) not based on enforcement of community rules and that do not adhere to Twitch policies will be considered abuse and may be subject to reversal. Repeated or severe instances of abuse may result in the removal, suspension, or termination of a Community, community leader, or community moderator(s).

Inclusivity Policy
Communities are an opportunity to bring people together around topics of shared interest, which helps foster a safe environment. Although it is acceptable to create Community rules that are designed for specific types of broadcasts or content, whether based on skill or gameplay reasons (i.e. a D.Va-only Overwatch Community), and to act upon those rules, when doing so, keep in mind that discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or nationality is prohibited, as per our Community Guidelines.

Our guidance here is to be respectful, kind, compassionate, and authentic. Respecting other people’s time, personal choices, and personal boundaries is essential to creating safe and trusting Communities. Bullying, harassment, exploitation, and acts of hate threaten a Community. These types of behavior and acts will not be tolerated in any form.

Twitch’s expectations on this topic are more fully set forth in our Community Guidelines.

Inactivity, Squatting, and Reassigning Community Names
We designed Communities with the specific purpose of fostering a closer connection between viewers and broadcasters through shared interests, and, in turn, with the hope that it produces a more rewarding experience for everyone. Claiming specific names of Communities, without the intent to contribute undermines these aims. Be active. Engage with others.

Twitch reserves the right to remove or transfer leadership of a Community without notice if we believe it is appropriate. We are also aware that over time events will change the shape of particular Communities, or leaders and moderators will walk away from a Community for a variety of reasons.  

Factors Twitch will consider when making a decision to transfer ownership or remove a Community:
  • Whether the sole purpose of the Community is to prevent others from using that Community name;
  • Selling, attempting to sell, or creating with the intent to sell a Community;
  • Inactivity for an extended duration, measured by whether any users are broadcasting to that Community or whether leadership is logging into the Community; and
  • Any conduct that we determine to be inappropriate, harmful, or in “bad faith”.
Trademark Rights
Like you, we get excited to show our support for games that we love, game developers, in-game characters and others. Yet, we ask that you consider whether your operation of a Community, along with your choice of a Community name, associated Community avatar or banner, may violate the use of another’s trademark. Visit our Trademark Policy page if you need further clarification, have questions, or want to report a violation.

Twitch allows account holders to create parody, commentary, and fan accounts, provided the accounts meet the following requirements:
  • Include a description on the channel page/community page that would be understood by others that the group or account holder is not affiliated with the trademark by using words such as "parody," "fan," "commentary," "subscribers of," etc.
  • Account or community names should not be the exact trademark without some other distinguishing word such as "fan," "subscriber," "commentary," or "players".

How to report a community to Twitch’s Moderation team
If you believe a Community is violating Twitch’s Communities Policies, Community Guidelines, or Terms of Service, you can report it to Twitch’s Moderation team via the Community page.
  1. Click on the “Report” option in the Gear button in the header.
  2. Select the most appropriate reason from the dropdown menu and be sure to elaborate on as many relevant details as you can.
How to report a channel to a community’s moderators
If you believe a channel is violating a community’s specific rules, and you are not a moderator or leader of that community, you can report it to the community’s moderators via the channel page.
  1. To do so, click on the “Report” option in the “...” menu button below the player and submit a user report through the standard user report process.
  2. Use the “Community Rules Violation” reason, and be sure to elaborate on as many relevant details as you can.

Communities are public, and broadcasters will be able to choose to stream to three Communities from the dashboard page, much in the way that they select a Game. Communities will then list all of the channels that are broadcasting to the chosen Communities.
 

 


To create a Community, your account must satisfy all of the following criteria:
(a) be at least 90 days old;
(b) not banned, thus, in good standing; and
(c) with Two Factor Authentication enabled.

Note: you can only create up to 5 Communities.

You should broadcast to a Community when:
You wish to help users find your content easier and faster than ever. Communities are a tool to help you surface your broadcast to viewers who have expressed interest in what you’re streaming.

You should create a community when:
You have not found the perfect community for your broadcasts or the broadcasts you watch. Creating your own Community allows you to decide the best audience for your broadcasts.

This is an organic way to generate new and engage with existing followers. Communities with live streams are just the beginning! As we continue to focus on fostering connections between all users, we’ll be working on developing additional tools and features within Communities that lead to a more engaging experience on Twitch!

How to create a Community:
  1. On the Community directory page, click the Create a Community button in the top right.
  2. Fill in the Community creation form by first entering a name you wish your Community to have. Note: this will be for the Community URL and therefore cannot ever be altered.
  3. Next, write a brief description for your community (160 characters max). Be as concise as possible since this is used to describe your Community in searches and in social media links.
  4. Add a long description. This will appear on the Community page itself and will be one of the first things users see when they visit. Note: this section supports Markdown formatting as follows: link, bold, italics, underline, bulleted list, unordered list.
  5. Add rules for your Community. These should be clear and outline the types of games or content that is acceptable for this Community. Note: this section supports Markdown formatting as follows: link, bold, italics, underline, bulleted list, unordered list.
  6. Read and accept the Twitch Community Guidelines, and then submit. Your Community will be available instantly.
To add an avatar and banner:
  1. You can upload these images once your Community is created. Click Edit from your Community page.
  2. Then click the Change Avatar or Change Cover Image buttons and select the assets from your computer. Your avatar must be a PNG or JPG that is 600x800, and your cover image must be a PNG or JPG that is 1200x180.
  3. Click Save.
Important: All aspects of the Community, including the descriptions and rules, must adhere to the Communities Policies, Twitch Community Guidelines, and Terms of Service.

As a Community leader, you can update the short and long descriptions, as well as the rules anytime by clicking on the Edit button on the Community page.
 

These Communities are intended to be self governing. That means that the creator, known as the Community Leader, establishes rules, designates moderators, and personalizes the channel via avatar, descriptions, and banner.

For more information on creating an effective moderation team, and other useful information on community moderation, check out this helpful guide on Building a Moderation Team.

How to add a moderation email:
  1. As a Community leader, click on the Moderation button on your Community page.
  2. On the far right, enter an email for moderation. Every time a channel is reported for violating your Community's rules or an action is taken by your moderation team, this email address will receive a message with details. We encourage Community Leaders to set up a distribution list for this using a service such as Google Groups so your entire team can receive these messages.
  3. Click Save.
How to add a moderator:
  1. As a Community leader, click on the Moderation button on your Community page.
  2. Add the username of the person you wish to have as a moderator.
  3. Click Done, in the top right corner.
How to remove a moderator:
  1. As a Community leader, click on the Moderation button on your Community page.
  2. Find the moderator that you want to remove in the Moderators section and click on the Remove button next to their username.
How to timeout a user/channel from your Community:
  1. As a Community leader or moderator, click on the Moderation button on your Community page.
  2. Enter the name of the user into the Banned Channels section. Select the user in the search results and click on the Timeout button.
  3. Enter the reason that the user is being timed out and select the duration of their timeout.
  4. Click the Timeout button.
How to ban a user/channel from your Community:
  1. As a Community leader or moderator, click on the Moderation button on your Community page.
  2. Enter the name of the user into the Banned Channels section. Select the user in the search results and click on the Ban button.
  3. Enter the reason that the user is being banned and click the Ban button.
HELPFUL HINT
You can also timeout or ban a live Channel directly from the Community page by clicking on the Flag button that appears over the Channel thumbnail and selecting the Timeout option.
 
  • QWhy is Twitch launching this?
    • A: There are many categories of content on Twitch today that are not easily discoverable because they do not align neatly within a single game. Speedrunning, for example, cannot be found unless you already follow speedrunners or make use of third party sites. Communities are a way to bring our broadcasters and viewers together through self-organizing groups.
       
  • QWhat is the difference between Communities and Teams?
    • A: While it seems that there is a lot of overlap between Communities and Teams, each is a distinct product intended to be used for a different purpose. For example, Communities are first and foremost intended to help with the discoverability of content, whereas Teams are meant for branding and informing. Here are further specifics about the differences between the two:
       
        Teams Communities
      Ownership & Participation Created by partners via Partnerships team Anyone on Twitch can create
      Purpose Connect team members’ channels as a branding and informational space Tool for broadcasters to connect with relevant audiences, and users to discover the most relevant content
      Privacy Private roster list, new members must be invited Public, any broadcaster can participate as long as they are following posted rules
      Stats Team members share broadcast stats with Team Owner n/a
  • QWhat happens to Teams now?
    • A: Teams will not be changed as part of the launch of Communities, and streamers will be able to both participate in Communities and belong to a Team at the same time, without issue. If you own a team and wish for it to be a Community, write in to your partner email contact.
       
  • QAs a streamer, do I have to participate in a Community?
    • A: Just as you do not have to select a game when you set up your stream, you will not be required to select a Community. Doing so, however, will make it easier for your content to be discovered, and so we highly recommend it!
       
  • QCan anyone stream to any Community?
    • A: Communities are public and have no members list, which means that anyone can participate in any Community they like as long as the content they are creating is adhering to that Community’s rules.
  • QHow many Communities can I stream to at a time?
    • A: While you are free (and encouraged) to participate in as many Communities as you like, you can only stream to one at a time.
       
  • Q: I already have a channel. Do I need to create a Community?
    • A: Your channel is and will remain the home for your audience - we not trying to change that. What we are trying to do is better connect streamers with viewers interested in the type of content that they produce. That said, if you cannot find an ideal Community to participate in, you might consider creating one!
  • QWhy are some translations missing in my local language?
    • A: In our initial launch of the Communities beta, we do not have full support for non-English language Communities. We are working to change this, and translations will become available as soon as possible.
  • QWhy can’t I select a Community name that uses non-English characters? And why can’t I filter the list of Communities by language?
    • A: In our initial launch of the Communities beta, we do not have full support for non-English language Communities. We are working to change this, and we support both non-English characters in Community titles and language filtering options as soon as we can.
       
  • QI would like to change my Community name. How can I do that?
    • A: We do not support changing a Community’s name or URL. In the future, we plan to enable a way to change the title that displays on the Community page, however.
       
  • QI no longer have the time or desire to lead the Community that I have created. Can I transfer leadership to one of my moderators?
    • A: Though we plan to build tools to enable transfers of Community leadership, we do not currently support this.
       
  • QWhat happens to the Games and Creative directories?
    • A: They are not going away! Communities are a separate, more targeted way to discover new broadcasts and stream to the most relevant audience. Streamers should set both a Game and a Community to maximize their chances of being found by viewers.
       
  • QHow can I find Communities in the Twitch mobile apps?
    • A: Currently, we do not support Communities in our mobile apps. We plan to do so soon!
       
  • QA channel is breaking the rules of the Community they are participating in. How can I report this?
    • A: Community leaders and their designated moderators are responsible for investigating and validating any reports of rules violations. See the “How to Report a Violation” section above.
       
  • QA Community is violating the Terms of Service or Community Guidelines. How can I report this?
    • A: Reports of Terms of Service or Community Guidelines violations are investigated and validated by the Twitch Moderation team. See the “How to Report a Violation” section above.
       
  • QWill I be punished if my Community is banned for violating Terms of Service or the Community Guidelines?
    • A: Banning a Community is a serious step that is not taken lightly. If this is deemed necessary for a Community that you lead, you will also be held accountable. Remember: the actions and behaviors of those participating in a Community reflect onto that Community as a whole, and this especially includes its leadership.
       
  • QI was banned/timed out from a Community. How can I appeal this?
    • A: When you are banned or timed out from a Community, you receive an email that includes the reason why this action was taken. If you believe that your punishment was not justified, or would otherwise like to appeal it, you are free to reach out to the Community Leader as instructed in the email.
       
  • QIf I am banned/timed out from a Community, will that impact my account on Twitch overall?
    • A: Being banned from a Community does not suspend your Twitch account overall. In the event you are banned from a Community, you will be notified via email.
       
  • QWhy can’t I find a Community through search or on the homepage?
    • A: Communities are currently in beta, and we do not yet support search or homepage integration. We plan to do so soon!
       
  • QWhat is next for Communities?
    • A: Thank you for your interest! Our first priorities following our initial release are to fully understand the impact of Communities, to integrate them into other parts of the site, and to enable full support for non-English language Communities. We also look forward to your feedback, which is critical to helping us shape the future of Communities.
       
  • QHow can I submit feedback?
    • A: We have two ways you can share feedback. First, you can share feedback and product ideas on our product forum, where you will be able to see and vote on submitted ideas. If you want to have a more in-depth conversation with Twitch broadcasters or viewers, head to the Twitch Communities Curse server and start chatting.