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News18 » Tech
3-min read

Microsoft's Game Streaming Platform Mixer Receives Flak for 'Sexist' Clothing Rules

The game streaming platform recently published "clothing guidelines" for its community of streamers, most of which is targeted at women and have been branded as "archaic" on Twitter.

Shouvik Das | News18.com@distantvicinity

Updated:August 5, 2019, 9:07 PM IST
Microsoft's Game Streaming Platform Mixer Receives Flak for 'Sexist' Clothing Rules
The game streaming platform recently published "clothing guidelines" for its community of streamers, most of which is targeted at women and have been branded as "archaic" on Twitter.

Microsoft-backed game streaming platform Mixer is receiving a lot of criticism from live streamers across the world for its recently published "rating specific clothing guidelines". These guidelines mostly appear to be targeted at women, and specify different types of clothing guidelines that it apparently encourages its streamers to follow. While many platforms release such rules in order to moderate the content that appears on their platforms, what's seemingly problematic here is the type of regulation that Mixer is imposing on its streamers.

According to the rules, the types of streams are divided into three segments — 'Family-friendly', 'Teen' and '18+'. The rules state that any streamer making the apparent family-friendly streams should "cover entire visible body from a few inches above the bust line". It further states that no strapless tops are allowed and streamers "should show little to no cleavage". In the teen section, the recommended clothing suggests that "clothing can reveal more than a hint of cleavage", while in 18+, specified clothing rules state "no under cleavage", while strapless tops can be seen "only if the top can be clearly seen on camera". The full version of the guidelines can be seen here:

This effort to moderate the clothing that is worn by streamers on the platform has expectedly come under stiff criticism on Twitter from the game streaming community. Twitter user Nina Freeman wrote on the platform, "ok so im reading about the mixer clothing rules and i am honestly dying lol what is with this weird shit about strapless tops not being "family friendly"??? anyone who actually thinks that is just stupid. it's just SHOULDERS, PEOPLE." Another user, Hunter Wild, stated, "Women shouldn't be specifically policed. The rules *apply* to everyone equally but disproportionately *affect* women. There's exactly 0 question that women have to make this adjustment (to 18+ rating) for totally normal attire while men generally don't," while his fellow user Mia wrote, "Mixer's clothing guidelines looks like it was written by a guy with an agenda against "titty streamers.""

The bigger issue that seems to have come up in the debacle here is that none of the clothing guidelines are targeted solely at women, and sexualise what might just be regular clothing attire for many. It is this that many of its users have singled out, calling out the platform for dressing norms that appear "sexist" and "archaic". In contrast, game streaming platform Twitch, which is considerably more popular than Mixer in terms of daily user count, has a more blanket policy on "nudity, pornography and sexual content", which covers both the genders and content that might actually set a wrong precedent for users to follow.

In a bid to attract more users to its platform, Mixer recently signed streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins to exclusively stream on its platform. However, the negative publicity that is being generated from its latest clothing guidelines would have been unwarranted, and it remains to be seen how Microsoft or Mixer responds to the same. As of now, Mixer's clothing guidelines are still live, and are aspects that the platform seemingly encourages its users to follow.

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