Amazon’s gaming and entertainment live-streaming website Twitch recently announced new updates to its username policy on Feb. 10 that exempt marijuana-themed usernames from the new ban.
Twitch’s goal is to create an environment where everyone feels welcome.
Twitch has updated its username policy to achieve this goal, raising the bar for acceptable behavior in order to better serve its global community.
It established more stringent guidelines for removing inappropriate usernames and preventing the creation of offensive usernames.
When removing reported usernames, Twitch will not consider references to marijuana to be inappropriate. Marijuana-related lexicon will be treated similarly to that of alcohol and tobacco, despite the fact that it is still illegal on the federal level. As a result, the new policy exempts references to marijuana from the prohibition. Hard drug references will be prohibited or removed. Twitch, on the other hand, didn’t say how hard drug references might jeopardize its mission of creating a safe and inclusive global community.
Hard drugs, such as peyote, cocaine, or heroin, and recreational drugs are examples of drug-related usernames that violate Twitch’s community guidelines. In addition, usernames associated with drug abuse or that overtly glorify the abuse of prescription or harmful drugs, including practices such as inhalant abuse, will be prohibited under the new policy.
Twitch’s new username policy, interestingly, is likely to prohibit references to psychedelics. However, there is renewed interest in the possibility of using psychedelic drugs for medical purposes in the treatment of a wide range of psychiatric disorders.
Twitch had only 55 million active users in 2015, but it now has 140 million monthly users. Twitch’s popularity skyrocketed as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns. Twitch, according to The Verge, saw the most growth in terms of total hours watched, with a 50 percent increase between March and April 2020 and a whopping 101 percent year over year.
On the website, marijuana is already being live streamed. Several channels in Twitch’s gardening section offer live marijuana grow streams 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many streamers place a camera in front of their plants to watch them grow. Other streamers, such as Snoop Dogg (Doggydogg20 on Twitch), PotQuest, and ChefAnnaWithTheTwitch, entertain their audiences with just-chatting sessions, gaming, smoking, and cultivation of live streams.
Marijuana consumption is permitted on Twitch as long as streamers reside in a country or region where the drug is legal. However, if a streamer smokes marijuana in a country or region where it is illegal, he or she may face criminal charges if it is reported.
Some experts, however, advise streamers not to smoke while streaming in the current Twitch environment because it is still a contentious issue.
Twitch’s marijuana policy appears to be similar to Amazon’s progressive marijuana policies, which were implemented last year.
Amazon announced in June 2021 that it would no longer include marijuana in its comprehensive drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation, treating it similarly to alcohol. It announced in September of the same year that it would support efforts to reform the cannabis policy and endorsed a Republican-led bill to legalize marijuana on a federal level in January 2022. The bill was introduced by Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace. Amazon reportedly spent $5 million lobbying on cannabis and other issues