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Twitch addresses the 'dark corner' of the games industry with new transparency policy

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New policy changes at Twitch are aiming to protect both viewers and content creators by highlighting if content was paid-for or sponsored, the company said today in a post on its official blog.

The game streaming platform will now provide clear labels for videos created as part of a partnership between the content maker and an additional party. Similarly, content sponsored by Twitch itself will be marked with a tag and tweets linking to that content will also include a warning.

Despite this, no new policies are in place to highlight content from Twitch users created as part of a deal with third-parties. Instead, the company is leaving users to declare their own external sponsorships.

"While we have always encouraged our broadcasters to acknowledge if they are playing games as part of a promotional campaign, we are now establishing a much more transparent approach to all paid programs on our platform and hope that it sets a precedent for the broader industry," reads a post on its official blog.

"Simply put: We want complete transparency and unwavering authenticity with all content and promotions that have a sponsor relationship."

According to the company, the decision to enforce this level of transparency was the result of concerns over the ethics of sponsorship.

"Because of a lack of clear best practices and shifting regulatory guidelines, coupled with a sometimes less-than-transparent sponsor relationship, these kinds of campaigns have become a bit of a dark corner in the industry, and that's bad for everyone.

"For these reasons, gamers can tend to look skeptically on the ecosystem because they don't know what is paid-for content and what is not. It also opens influencers to potential criticism."