Live-streaming service Twitch will ban users for offences such as hate-group membership or credible threats of mass violence that occur entirely away from the site in a new approach to moderating the platform. The Amazon-owned platform – which is primarily used for watching people play video games but also pop concerts and even football matches – said under its new rules it would take enforcement actions against offline offences that posed a “substantial safety risk” to its community. It said examples of this “severe misconduct” include terrorist activities, child sexual exploitation, violent extremism, credible threats of mass violence, carrying out or deliberately acting as an accomplice to sexual assault, and threatening Twitch or its staff. “Taking action against misconduct that occurs entirely off our service is a novel approach for both Twitch and the industry at large, but it’s one we believe – and hear from you – is crucial to get right,” the company said in a blog post. Major social media companies Facebook and Twitter largely focus their rules and enforcement actions on content and activity on the actual services, with exceptions for certain individuals or organisations they have designated as dangerous or violent. Twitch previously took into account off-service behaviours related to incidents on the site, such as harassment on other social media platforms. It said it had also historically taken action against serious misconduct away from its service, such as when it indefinitely suspended the account of former US President Donald Trump after a mob of his supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6. Twitch said it did not have a large-scale approach in the past. Netflix launching 40 anime shows to appeal to Asian audiences The company said users will be able to report such behaviours but it may also investigate cases proactively, for instance if there is a verified news report that a user has been arrested. Twitch said it would rely more heavily on law enforcement in “off-service” cases and is partnering with an investigative law firm to support its internal team. It declined to name the firm. The new standards will apply even if the target of the offline behaviour is not a Twitch user or if the perpetrator was not a user when they committed the acts. Perpetrators would also be banned from registering a Twitch account, it said. Twitch said it would take action only when there was evidence, such as screenshots, videos of off-Twitch behaviour or police filings, verified by its internal team or third-party investigators. Users who submit a large amount of frivolous reports will face suspension. The company said in cases where the behaviour happened in the distant past and users had gone through rehabilitation, such as time in a correctional facility, and no longer presented a danger to the community, it might not take action or might reinstate users on appeal. It said it would share updates with the involved parties but would not share public updates about actions under this policy. Meanwhile, Spain’s main soccer league is handing match coverage to Twitch to attract younger audiences more interested in online gaming. The recent clash between Basque region clubs Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao is the first top-tier Spanish game to be shown live on the platform. It was shown for Spanish Twitch users on the channel of 26-year-old social media celebrity Ibai Llanos under a deal between LaLiga and broadcast rights owner Mediapro, as well as free-to-air on regular TV network GOL. China’s TikTok rival launches memorial feature for dead users Llanos started out commenting on esports tournaments from his home before branching into regular sports commentary. He’s drawn 5.6 million Twitch followers by bringing his humorous style to everything from toy car races to chess games and interviews with international sports stars. As many as 550,000 users watched his New Year’s Eve show, drawing away a chunk of viewers from regular TV networks. Llanos’ rise to hosting important soccer fixtures shows how sports leagues faced with ageing audiences are striving to stay relevant to young viewers and diversify beyond the pay-TV companies that funded the business for decades. “We thought it was a great chance to bring our main product closer to an audience that consumes soccer content in a different way,” said LaLiga digital strategy director Alfredo Bermejo. He added the league may take the idea to other markets if the Twitch trial is a success. LaLiga already owns a Twitch account in which local influencers comment on matches in audio.