Twitch has added over 350 new tags focused on gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ability, mental health, and abilities.
The streaming platform has been making a lot of changes as controversy over the “hot tub meta” continues. When Twitch decided to create a tag for hot tub streamers, the community demanded answers: Why was a hot tub stream tag made before a tag for trans content creators?
In an official blog post discussing the addition of the tags, Twitch developers admitted that it “took us too long” to add these types of tags to the platform.
“The simple truth is that we should have done this sooner,” Twitch stated. “We’d like to thank our trans community for originally requesting the ‘transgender’ tag and for their passion and persistence in pursuit of that request.”
What are Twitch Tags?
Twitch tags were originally added to the streaming website in 2018. The goal was to help creators describe their content so viewers could find channels they liked a lot faster. But the tags were almost exclusively about games or other activities. None were about identity, something Twitch says they now regret.
“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,” Twitch wrote.
The expansion of tags, developers added, was a way to give creators more ways to be discovered by various communities.
The “inclusive” tags were created by partnering with third-party organizations like GLAAD. Twitch wanted outside experts to provide input on the types of tags to add to the platform. But the developers admitted that some tags might still be missing and invited viewers to submit their own tag ideas for review.
Are the new Twitch tags a good thing?
The gaming community has had mixed reactions to the new Twitch tags. While some communities have applauded Twitch’s update, others expressed concern over the tags for a variety of reasons.
Some streamers wondered what would happen if they used the “wrong” tag, for example a white streamer adding a “black” tag to their channel. Would they be punished? Who would determine their identity? How would Twitch decide if they are trolls or just white-passing?
The sensitive tags seemed like a possible gold mine for toxic Twitch users looking to easily target certain demographics. It would be a lot easier to find streamers of a certain race, orientation, or religion when looking for channels to harass.
While there are some lingering concerns about the addition of the identity tags, many people are pleased to see this type of change to a large gaming platform. The tags will help create safe spaces and communities, allowing people to easily find other people with similar interests, stories, and experiences.
“We know implementing the request for tags is taking far longer than it should, and we sincerely thank you for your persistence, feedback, and patience. Now and always, it helps us make a better Twitch for everyone,” Twitch wrote.
A live stream will be airing May 26 at 9:30 AM PST on Twitch to further discuss the tags.