Because the policies and guidelines of Twitch are updated so frequently, it can often be hard knowing exactly what content creators can and cannot do while streaming, which has unfortunately ended up in many streamers being banned for things they weren’t even aware were off limits.
This includes smoking weed, which has been somewhat of a controversial topic on the popular streaming platform, however it’s worth knowing the rules and regulations surrounding the use of it so that you don’t end up being suspended or even worse, banned entirely from the platform.
Here is all you need to know about smoking weed on Twitch, including if it’s allowed, and if there are any penalties for doing so.
Will Smoking Marijuana On Stream Get You Banned?
For several years after it was first founded in 2011, streamers on Twitch who were smoking weed on camera would receive an outright ban, however as the popular streaming platforms guidelines have been revised and relaxed in many areas, this has included the use of marijuana which streamers are now allowed to use, as long as they live in a region or country where it’s legal.
With that being said, streamers are not exactly advised to smoke weed on camera as mentioned in Twitch’s terms of service since it could convince others to do the same, which is also the case with cigarettes.
It should be noted that Twitch still remains fairly vague on the activity and only briefly mention it in their terms of service, so while it is technically allowed if your local laws allow it, it is usually a better idea to smoke off-camera or while the lights are off to save you any potential trouble.
Penalties For Smoking Weed On Twitch Illegally
If you are caught smoking marijuana on camera while it’s illegal in the area where you live, this will be breaching Twitch’s terms of service, and also the law in your country, which will result in an immediate ban.
If the act is reported by Twitch or by someone in the chat, it can even lead to a criminal prosecution, so it’s never worth the risk if you live in a state where marijuana is not yet legal.
The Controversy With Twitch And Marijuana
In 2018 while promoting the new survival game SOS, rapper Snoop Dogg decided to light up a blunt while on stream, and to the surprise of the few hundred thousand people in chat, the stream stayed up.
While Twitch would normally ban a streamer right away upon seeing someone smoking marijuana at this time, this stream took place just a few months after the legalization of weed in California where Snoop was living at the time, so there was absolutely nothing they could do.
This random stream really was when Twitch started to take a much more accepting approach to streamer’s use of marijuana since before this, Twitch would outright ban streamers who were caught smoking on camera, paying no attention to local laws, but Snoop managed to force them to take a closer look at their policies.
Weed And Twitch Usernames
As the years have gone on and Twitch has begun relaxing their policies on marijuana use for streamers, they have also begun doing this for usernames.
In 2022, Twitch updated its guidelines to allow users to include alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana references in their usernames.
Previously, if you tried to include any such references, you would be asked to change your name to something more suitable, or you could even be suspended or banned in some cases, however with this new revision to the platform’s policies, users have now been given a little more freedom to express themselves through their username.
It should also be mentioned that as part of this update to the policies, Twitch has still made clear that “references to hard drugs, and drug abuse” are still off limits.
Is Alcohol Allowed On Stream?
The consumption of alcohol follows much the same guidelines as marijuana as streamers will be allowed to drink it on camera as long as they are of the legal drinking age in their respective country.
However, Twitch again makes clear in their terms of service that drinking on stream is not encouraged, while also ensuring to mention that the “dangerous consumption” of alcohol is against their terms of service and can result in a stream being taken down or a suspension.
This is an extremely vague policy that has been criticized by many streamers for how hypocritical and impractical it really is since drinking a “dangerous” amount of alcohol can mean something entirely different depending on who you ask, and many bigger streamers have gotten away with getting drunk and even being sick on stream without facing any penalty.
Because Twitch holds the authority to suspend an account that they see as promoting harmful content, it can make this policy extremely vague and subjective in practice.
Twitch’s guidelines also state that streamers are not allowed to drink in exchange for donations and shots.
Years ago, before Twitch began revising their policies more often, some streamers would run “drunk streams” where they would take a shot each time someone donated a certain amount, however, this has since been seen as unethical and will result in a suspension.
Streamers however are allowed to create drinking games for them and their chat, as long as there is no monetary gain involved.
While the appearance of weed on a stream used to result in an immediate ban soon after Twitch was first founded, the popular streaming platform has since relaxed its guidelines not only on the usage of it on camera, but even for references of it in usernames.
If marijuana is legal where you live and you do decide to smoke it while streaming, in order to avoid any annoying warnings or emails from Twitch, it can be a good idea to not overdo it with how much you can consume, or just to be safe, smoke it off camera so it doesn’t seem like you’re encouraging it to your viewers.
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