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Account Usernames and Display Names

In order to ensure that our community is safe and inclusive, inappropriate account names that violate our Community Guidelines are prohibited. We also recognize that an account’s username has more impact across our services than many other forms of content because they are persistent, cross-functional, and, in most cases, much more visible. Because of this, we have additional, higher standards for usernames based on reducing harm across our services. Usernames and display names created on Twitch may not include:

  • Breaking the Law, including Terrorism and Child Exploitation
  • Violence and Threats
  • Hateful Conduct
  • Harassment and Sexual Harassment
  • Unauthorized Sharing of Private Information
  • Impersonation
  • Glorification of natural or violent tragedies
  • Self-Destructive Behavior
  • References to recreational drugs, hard drugs, and drug abuse, with exceptions for alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana
  • References to sexual acts, genital, or sexual fluids

Learn more about our username policies and enforcement.

Account Usernames and Display Names

In order to promote a safe and inclusive community, usernames and display names on Twitch must adhere to all of our general Community Guidelines standards. Additionally, we recognize that usernames and display names often have more impact across our services than other forms of content because of their visibility, persistence, and cross-functional nature. In order to account for this, we have additional, higher standards for usernames based on reducing harm across our services. In order to account for these higher standards, which in some instances may be broken by users acting in good-faith, our enforcements for violative usernames are broken down into two categories: indefinite suspensions and username resets. 

Indefinite suspensions are issued for usernames and display names that constitute clear violations of our standard Community Guidelines, or that are typically representative of malicious and bad-faith behavior. These situations include:

  • References to terrorism or terrorist organizations
  • References to child grooming or exploitation
  • Threats, promotions, or calls to real-life violence against others (with exceptions for references to video game or non-hateful historical violence)
    • Calling for another group of people to be harmed or killed
    • Creating a username that threatens violence against another person
  • Hateful Conduct, including slurs and derogatory terminology related to protected characteristics
    • Creating a username that includes a hateful slur
    • Glorifying, promoting, or advocating for discrimination, denigration, segregation, exclusion, hatred, or disgust based on protected characteristics (see our Hateful Conduct policy for more information)
    • Creating a username that references a hate group
    • Mocking, denying, or glorifying the occurrence of well-documented hate crimes or acts of genocide
  • Harassment and Sexual Harassment directed towards another person
    • Creating a username that is sexually degrading towards another person
    • Creating a username that includes insults targeted towards another person’s sexual practices
    • Creating a username that includes a personal attack or targeted profanity against another person
    • Directing an insulting username towards another person
    • Mocking streamers, community members, or their friends and family that have passed away
  • Threats or promotion of suicide and self-harm
    • Glorifying methods of self-harm, including suicide and eating disorders
    • Encouraging another person to self-harm or commit suicide
    • Registering a username that threatens suicidal action
  • Personal information of another person leaked without consent
    • IP addresses, email addresses
    • Mailing addresses, home addresses, private work or school addresses
    • Personal or private phone numbers
    • Sensitive identification or financial information, such as bank account numbers or government ID numbers
  • Impersonation of another person, company, or organization
    • Attempting to misrepresent yourself as a staff member or employee of Twitch
    • Creating an account with a nearly identical name to another Twitch user and attempting to pass yourself off as them
    • Attempting to pose as a representative of a company or organization without authorization (See the Trademark Policy for more information on usernames that may constitute legal violation of a trademark.)
  • Glorification of natural or violent tragedies
    • Glorifying references to specific natural disasters that are responsible for death, such as Hurricane Katrina
    • Glorifying people directly responsible for the murder or death of others, such as serial killers
    • Celebrating deaths of individuals due to violence, including suicides and lethal government or police actions (see Hateful Conduct for more on our guidelines regarding glorifying violence on the basis of a protected class)

In instances where we believe users may be acting in good-faith, we will mandate a username or display name reset instead of indefinitely suspending the accounts. These username resets are typically done in situations where the name would violate this username policy, but wouldn’t normally constitute a violation of our Community Guidelines for other types of content. In addition, some violations of our standard Community Guidelines in usernames and display names that are particularly sensitive or colloquial may result in a username reset. These situations include:

  • References to hard drugs, recreational drugs, and drug abuse (with the exceptions of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana)
    • Explicitly referencing recreational drugs or psychoactive substances, such as peyote
    • Explicitly referencing hard drugs, including cocaine or heroin
    • Overtly glorifying the abuse of prescription or harmful drugs, including practices such as inhalant abuse
  • References to pornography, sexually explicit, and sexually suggestive content or behavior
    • Creating usernames that reference explicit or implied sexual acts
    • Creating usernames that indicate overt sexual arousal
    • Creating usernames that include references to genitalia or sexual bodily fluids
    • References to sexually transmitted infections and other types of sexual-related trauma
    • Overt references to sexual fetishes
  • Using terms related sexual orientation or disability in an insulting context or as a negative descriptor   (reminder that using terms related to protected groups in an openly hateful or derogatory way will result in an indefinite suspension, see Hateful Conduct above)
    • Creating a name that uses terms related to Autism or intellectual disability in a negative or insulting context
    • Creating a name that uses terms related to sexual orientation, such as ‘gay,’ in a negative or insulting context

Username resets are leveraged in these cases under the assumption that these violations are likely mistaken or unintentional. However, repeatedly renaming an account in violation of our username policy will result in further enforcement actions against your account, up to an indefinite suspension.


What is a username reset and how does it differ from an account suspension?

Username and display name resets force you to change your name but do not result in your account being suspended. If your username is reset through an enforcement action, you will receive an email notification asking you to choose a new username and/or display name. Until you follow these steps and rename your account, you will be unable to access your account on Twitch. Once you have renamed your account, you will be able to use Twitch  as normal, and your account history (aside from the offending username) will be preserved.

Why does Twitch enforce against some content in usernames that would not be considered Community Guidelines violations in other types of content?

These additional standards are often tied to values that exist in our Community Guidelines, but there are contextual differences in usernames and display names compared to other types of content that change how we approach enforcement. We call out above that usernames are more visible, persistent, and cross-functional than most other types of content on Twitch. Usernames are often the most discoverable part of an account, and they contain very little context at a glance. In some instances, usernames may also be representative of the content or focus of a channel’s activity. As an example of how these differences in standards are applied, while we prohibit pornography on Twitch, using the word ‘pornography’ in chat would not result in an account suspension. However, a username that contained the term ‘pornography’ would be enforced as a violation of this policy with a reset.

If Twitch has the ability to reset account usernames, why suspend some accounts indefinitely?

Our suspension data indicates that  the vast majority of users who create names that would result in indefinite suspensions create many such accounts, and are often involved in malicious raiding, brigading, and harassment campaigns. Because these individuals harm and spread toxicity within the Twitch community, we indefinitely suspend them immediately in order to mitigate this abuse, as well as remove the username. As with all account enforcements, if you have been suspended under this policy and believe that there has been a mistake or error, you may submit a suspension appeal (instructions can be found here).

If usernames can be such a large issue, what is Twitch doing to proactively monitor them at account sign-up?

We do have systems in place to proactively monitor usernames at account sign-up and automatically deny names that appear to violate our policies. However, malicious individuals often leverage a number of tactics to try and confuse these systems. While our automated detection catches a significant amount of this abuse, we also leverage account suspensions and resets to deal with names that do manage to evade or pre-date our filtering system.