Twitch will be adding over 350 new tags to their platform this week in response to repeated requests and criticism from the streaming community.
The crucial new tags are related to identity rather than content, including transgender, Black and disabled tags, plus many many more.
Twitch will also be removing “ally” from the LGBTQIA+ tag – the A has been mistaken for ally, when in fact it represents the asexual community and a broad spectrum of asexual sub-identities.
We had planned to share this next week, but we’ve heard a lot of you talking and want to make sure the record is clear. Next week we’ll be adding 350+ new tags to celebrate yourself and your community.
— Twitch (@Twitch) May 22, 2021
Trans and other LGBT+ streamers have been campaigning for a trans tag for over two years, so while this news has been met with celebration, there has also been criticism about the fact the change took so long.
Twitch addressed this in their blog post.
“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. This has been one of the most popular requests we’ve heard, and the simple truth is that we should have done this sooner,” it reads.
It explains how tags were introduced in 2018 to define stream content types rather than streamer identity, but this line was blurred with the LGBTQIA+ tag.
“We loved hearing creators share how [the LGBTQIA+ tag] has helped grow their community and discover others like them. It took us too long to embrace that there should have been hundreds of ways for creators to share who they are and issues they care about. The Twitch community is incredibly diverse and the tags available to creators should reflect and celebrate that.”
The new list of tags has been created in conjunction with specialist organisations like GLAAD, The Trevor Project, AbleGamers and SpecialEffect. Twitch will also accept suggestions on other tags, via the UserVoice platform.
The trans tag is coming! We’re proud to work with Twitch to bring several new LGBTQ tags to the platform, rolling out next week. Community is so vital, especially for the trans community, and we hope these new tags will support and uplift trans viewers and creators alike. https://t.co/Pd9OOqhPJc
— GLAAD (@glaad) May 22, 2021
Twitch also reiterated their Hateful Conduct and Harassment Policy and moderation tools to ensure streams are kept safe.
There’s no official date on when the tags will be introduced, but on 26 May (9.30 AM PST) Twitch will be going live with more details.
Elated streamers have been sharing the news in celebration.
YOU fought so hard, for so long, and today we can ALL enjoy the success that those actions have created.
809 days after the first request on uservoice for a trans tag, we’ve finally made it.
— Veronica ‘Nikatine’ Ripley 🌹 (@NikatinePrime) May 22, 2021
The trans community fought so hard to be seen and heard. Take a moment and celebrate that the Trans Tag on Twitch is finally a reality 🏳️⚧️
— Transtopia (@teamtranstopia) May 22, 2021
Nonbinary friends wondering about the trans tag and whether you can use it. The answer is YES, so long as you feel like it fits the alignment of your identity. Anyone who associates their gender as something different than the one assigned at birth can be trans. pic.twitter.com/T0huuwAmxA
— Lucia Everblack | Sidequest🏳️🌈⛧🏳️⚧️🔮 (@LuciaEverblack) May 24, 2021
It took so long to have identity tags added to twitch, that climb, that pain, that fight is valid. I celebrate this win, but I will never forget about the energy marginalized folks put into this. I am very optimistic about the future. I can only speak for me, but I am optimistic.
— CtrlAltQuin🏳️⚧️❤️🏳️🌈 (@ctrlaltquin) May 22, 2021
OMG! I woke up to use the restroom and @TWITCH IS ADDING A TRANS TAG and many other identity-based tags!!!! Thank you!!!!!!!! https://t.co/CaXMLlY7rf
— Frazley (She/Her) 🏳️⚧️ (@Frazleytastic) May 22, 2021
Will we get some trolls since I’m not always fully femme presenting? Sure! Will I beat them back with grace and wit? Fucking right I will! pic.twitter.com/LGllfmVaIX
— AnnieMayPlay 🏳️⚧️✨ (@AnnieMayPlay) May 22, 2021
Sometimes, it takes time.
Folks don’t like to accept this but it is the truth. I am glad it’s finally being done & folks can truly feel welcome on this platform. https://t.co/tT6jD0aqHU
— ΩMEGA JONES. (@CriticalBard) May 22, 2021
The news has also been met with caution by some, partly due to the amount of time it’s taken for Twitch to implement these changes. The timing is also perfect for a Pride month PR move.
Today is a step in the right direction when it comes to Trans representation on Twitch.
Though keep in mind it only happened through our continued pressure.
The fact we’ve had to fight since 2018 still does not sit well with me, but credit where it is due.
Thankyou Twitch. https://t.co/xdASvFy3jx
— Miabyte Senpai ミアバイト ✨🌑✨ (@themiabyte) May 22, 2021
Okay so am I happy? YES. HOWEVER, TWITCH DOES NOT GET CREDIT FOR THIS. It is because of OUR COMMUNITY. WE HELD YOU ACCOUNTABLE. So please pat YOURSELF on the back. YOU GOT THAT VOTE TO 12K + VOTES. WE DID. They couldn’t TAKE THE HEAT, Our ADVOCACY is the fire. https://t.co/0e2gToRTFp pic.twitter.com/6ViFM7PfzO
— MSTRSSFOX ➡️ #TRANSTAGNOW (@mstrssfox) May 22, 2021
Everyone: ‘Yikes, imagine if Twitch is holding out on adding the trans tag so they can do it during pride month & act like it’s a treat.’
— BiggusBennus 💯 (@biggusbennus1) May 22, 2021
The trans tag issue feels like gay marriage. I see many people like “well the work is done. We can go home” when literally the house is still on fire and trans rights across the US and the world still sucks and there’s so much more to be fighting for. We need you to still care.
— Erica (@ericanewgirl) May 22, 2021
There’s also currently a five tag limit on the platform, so some streamers are concerned this will prohibit intersectionality.
This is great news, honestly.
Will we be setting these as default tags or will they be part of the limit? https://t.co/Ggauv90j8L
— Benjamin 🏳️🌈- (He/Him) (@ReadySetBen) May 22, 2021
Another thought on identity tags: if we’re still only allowed 5 tags and they’re adding over 300, my intersectional ass now has to pick and choose parts of my identity to be found under – will this tag limit increase @Twitch?
— Artie 🐱 (they/them) (@HeyArtie_) May 22, 2021
Others used it as an opportunity to remind people that these tags are not to be used by allies. They are specifically for streamers of that particular community.
People, please. If you are not part of a specific community, do not use the tag just to show you’re a safe space or an ally. Not trans? Don’t use the trans tag. Not Black? Don’t use the Black tag. Not disabled? Don’t use the disabled tag. Do the work in your community to show
— Juliancito 🏳️⚧️🇵🇷✡ (@the_juliancito) May 22, 2021
I don’t want to see trans allies using the transgender tag – yeah it’s nice you believe your stream is inclusive to trans people, but we been fighting for years to get a tag so we can find each other! Let us have that!
— Dominick Evans (@dominickevans) May 22, 2021
I will not use Ally as a tag. I will not use Ally in my bios. How will others know that I am an Ally? Because of how I act, the language I use, and my commitment to being always open to listen and learn from those with the authority and experience.
— Haughty Chicken ~ Be Kind, Be You (@haughtychicken) May 22, 2021
The inclusion of a disabled tag is also not a reason to ask streamers potentially intrusive questions. The use of tags is in celebration of communities, not to point out difference.
A DISABLED TAG ON TWITCH DOES NOT MEAN YOU GET TO ASK THE DISABLED STREAMER INVASIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR DISABILITY. 📢
If they want to talk about it, they will. You’re not owed answers & have no right to their personal info if you’re disabled or not or have their disability.
— Andrea Lausell (@AndreaLausell) May 23, 2021
Now that a disabled tag is coming to twitch this is your gentle reminder that many, many disabilities are invisible. Including mine.
That does not diminish their severity or impact on our lives.
Please do not question people 🧡
— BlondeAvocado 🥑 (@ABlondeAvocado) May 22, 2021
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