Twitch cracks down on PS4 players after livestream abuses
27th Nov 2013 | 18:18
Should have seen this coming
Update: Twitch has gone and removed the app from the PlayStation directory.
A rep told Joystiq that Playroom has been removed because of the non-gaming related content users have been streaming, but it may not be gone forever:
"We will look into adding it back as PS4 owners become more familiar with the games-only focus of Twitch content. In the meantime, you can view all of the amazing gameplay from PS4 broadcasters in this directory page on Twitch."
Moral of the story? Play nice and stop showing everyone things we don't want to see.
Original story below ...
The Playroom is meant to show off what the new PlayStation Camera is capable of, but some players are showing off more by using the PS4's livestreaming capabilities.
The Playroom is an augmented reality game that takes place in users' living rooms, meaning the footage that's broadcast during livestreams of the game is actually just video of everything the PS Camera sees.
As Twitch viewers learned over the weekend, that's good for exhibitionists and bad for everyone else.
According to the user who started this Reddit thread, Twitch has begun banning anyone who streams footage of The Playroom, even if they're doing so completely innocently.
But the PS4 has been out for a week and a half, and one has to wonder how this didn't happen sooner.
Twitch is an extremely popular video game content livestreaming service with millions of monthly users, and the PS4 is the first video game console to feature full Twitch broadcasting integration.
Naturally, some users are taking advantage of that to send footage including nudity and full-on intercourse to anyone who cares to watch.
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Keep in mind that Twitch footage broadcast from PlayStation 4 consoles isn't limited to the console itself - Twitch is a global service, and anyone on Twitch.tv can view the broadcasts.
Keep it clean
This isn't a new problem for Twitch, on which users can broadcast whatever they want (until they're caught and banned, at least). But it is definitely a new problem for Sony.
Twitch has its own guidelines that expressly forbid any content unrelated to gaming, not to mention explicit content.
But unlike the internet, the PS4 is a relatively closed platform on which parents might feel they can let their kids loose without having to worry about them watching strangers having sex. Unless something's done about this, Sony might face flak from parents, the mainstream media and others.
What to do, what to do
Twitch could block streams of The Playroom or Sony could disable livestreaming the game entirely, but neither company has announced any drastic actions officially just yet.
Twitch tweeted about it on Saturday, reminding players that "if using PS4 Playroom, the content must be about games or gaming and within our TOS. Thanks for understanding."
The company also issued a statement to Kotaku, saying:
"As Twitch continues to attract new broadcasters, we want to keep our terms of service top of mind and reiterate we are a destination for video game-related content. We also have a team, supported by a predominantly positive minded community, that works around the clock to ensure our TOS is being adhered to. It is at the discretion of our partners to determine which Twitch features are integrated into their hardware and software."
In other words, the ball's in Sony's court. We've asked Sony spokespeople what the company plans to do and will update here if they respond.