Twitch announces new rules to curb sexual harassment

Twitch announces new sexual harassment and hate speech rules.
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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! State attorneys general sue Facebook in an antitrust case, Kamala Harris changes the cultural perception of the “stepmom,” and Twitch moves to crack down on sexual harassment. Have a thoughtful Thursday.

– Twitch switch. Twitch, the massively popular livestreaming platform used by gamers and others, is the latest tech titan to try to curb sexual harassment and hate speech among its users. On Wednesday, the company (which is owned by Amazon) revealed a new set of guidelines that will, among other things, ban “lewd or repeated comments about anyone’s physical appearance and expressly prohibit the sending of unsolicited links to nudity,” reports the New York Times. Violators will be fined, suspended, or banned.

While Twitter and Facebook tend to get more media coverage around harassment and misinformation, Twitch is worth your attention. The platform is on a lockdown-fueled rocket ride of growth, with an average of 26.5 million daily viewers, up from 17.5 million at the beginning of 2020, according to the NYT.

And, as anyone who followed the Gamergate drama of yore will recall, sexual harassment in the gaming community is a serious problem. As recently as June of this year, more than 70 people, most of whom are women, levied allegations of sexism, sexual harassment, and sexual assault against prominent gamers and executives in the industry. (For anyone who missed it, I recommend reading up on that story; I suspect it flew under the radar for many amid the COVID crisis and outrage over the killing of George Floyd this spring.)

Of course, as Twitter’s repeated efforts to control the abuse on its platform illustrate, creating a policy and actually achieving a harassment-free environment are two very different things. One possible flaw in the Twitch guidelines: streamers themselves are generally the ones responsible for enforcing the rules among their viewers.

Kristen Bellstrom

Today’s Broadsheet was curated by Emma Hinchliffe


- About face. State attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission filed a long-anticipated and major lawsuit against Facebook yesterday, alleging that the tech giant has quashed competitors and violated antitrust regulations. New York Attorney General Tish James said that the company has "used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users." Facebook didn't immediately respond to the suit. New York Times

- Staffing up. Fortune's Erika Fry spoke to Susan Salka, the CEO of AMN Healthcare, the United States' largest health care staffing company. Salka talks about shortages of health care workers and working alongside hospitals throughout the pandemic. Fortune

- Inside Fort Hood. After investigating the death of soldier Vanessa Guillen, who was sexually harassed before she was killed, the U.S. Army fired or suspended 14 people connected to "a pattern of sexual assault, harassment, suicides and murder" at Fort Hood. CBS News

- Family first. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, with her husband Doug Emhoff and his two children, is putting stepparents and "families you choose" in the national spotlight—alongside the Bidens and their family. "When kids are growing up now, they're going to think of the word 'stepmom' and they're going to think of the vice president of the United States and the first lady," says Beth McDonough, who runs the blog The Inclusive Stepmom. NPR

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Mellody Hobson, already a Starbucks board director, is now its board chair. The Meredith Corporation promoted Catherine Levene to National Media Group president; promoted chief business and data officer Alysia Borsa to president of Meredith Digital; and hired Amanda Dameron as chief digital content officer. The Ohio State University named Ayanna Howard dean of the College of Engineering. American Airlines promoted managing director and assistant treasurer Meghan Montana to VP and treasurer. BNP Paribas CIB Americas named Claudine Gallagher head of human resources. 


- Adios, Pre-Textos. Spanish-language publisher Pre-Textos is criticizing the team behind poet Louise Glück, the recent winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, after they selected a new publisher for her translated works in the language a month after her Nobel win. Pre-Textos says that it published seven of Glück's books when she was "almost completely unknown" to Spanish-language readers and should be able to publish her work now that she has won global acclaim. New York Times

- Locker room walk. Vanderbilt's women's basketball team has announced that its players won't leave the locker room for the National Anthem this season, in a move meant to mourn and protest racial injustice in the United States. The college athletes follow the lead of the WNBA, whose players have been at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement. ESPN

- Pump it. The breast pump Medela is still found in hospitals nationwide and helped make the breast pump common throughout the U.S. But the brand has fallen behind competitors, many of which new mothers now turn to instead of the category originator. Bloomberg


How AOC showed politicians the power of live-streaming Fortune

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are ready to share more diversity data Bloomberg

Work-from-home scheme targeting Latinas netted $7 million, U.S. says New York Times


"I do beg them: Pick the biggest screen they can find, please!"

-Director Patty Jenkins, to viewers, on Wonder Woman: 1984 being released via streaming on HBO Max

This is the web version of The Broadsheet, a daily newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.

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