Twitch knows it has failed some marginalized communities, and it’s taking some steps to encourage more inclusive streams. The livestreaming service is adding over 350 channel tags that reflect a wide range of communities, including ones for gender and sexual orientation, ethnicity, abilities and veteran status. You might only have to search for a tag to find streams that exactly match the community you’re looking to talk to.
The tags should be available this coming week.
Twitch said it worked with organizations like GLAAD and AbleGamers to develop the tags alongside the community itself. The site will also accept UserVoice suggestions, and will review the most popular suggestions each week to potentially add them later. And yes, Twitch is aware that bigots and trolls may abuse the tags to harass streamers — those that do will face punishment in line with the company’s anti-hate policy.
Tags certainly aren’t meant as a cure. Critics have argued that Twitch should invest in moderation tools to curb hate and harassment, for instance. This latest move may help viewers looking for friendly streams, though, and could foster communities that otherwise had to gather under more generic categories.