Many of the emotes found on an unofficial Twitch channel that streams UK Parliament sessions have been removed due to the platform's rules and guidelines. The channel was put together with the intent to "share the workings" of the UK House of Commons and a separate channel exists for the House of Lords. As a platform, Twitch has opened up to many other ventures from music, cooking, and now politics.
This isn't the first time that politics have been broadcasted over Twitch. Vermont Senator and United States presidential candidate Bernie Sanders began broadcasting on his own Twitch channel in June. However, the purpose of this channel is not to stream games like Fortnite or League of Legends, but rather to showcase Sanders' campaign rallies which also appear on Facebook and YouTube. Earlier, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the U.S. Representative from New York's 14th congressional district, appeared on a Twitch stream that was raising money for transgender kids where she talked about why the Nintendo 64 is awesome.
As first pointed out by esports consultant Rod Breslau, the people who run the UK Parliament Twitch channel initially had a set of emotes for both Theresa May, who formally worked as the leader of the Conservative Party and the country's Prime Minister, as well as Boris Johnson, who now fills both of May's roles. Those emotes have now been removed. While the emotes that were removed seemed light-hearted, Twitch has rules in place that restrict political emotes for obvious reasons.
the Twitch channel showing UK Parliament has now removed the Johnson, May, and Corbyn emotes at the request of Twitch, on the grounds of no political emotes https://t.co/nreVMVLSpx— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) September 9, 2019
Twitch isn't a platform without its problems with toxicity so the restrictions against political emotes makes sense given the nature of modern-day politics. The streaming platform hosts thousands of streamers and viewers daily so the company is likely trying to keep political turmoil out of its chatrooms. Twitch already has plenty of problems that it's either had to address or rectify. Recently, the platform was criticized for having a sexual content problem where channels could host said content for hours before being taken down. After prolific streamer Ninja moved from Twitch to Mixer, the company used his channel to host other streamers but it was not long before sexual content made it onto the page.
Given that politics are slowly seeping their way into Twitch, the platform is evolving in ways that are unexpected. If this trend continues, Twitch will certainly have to adapt to it or remove politics from the platform altogether. Maybe someday viewers will finally be able to see political candidates hash out their differences in a couple of rounds of Quake.
Source: Rod Breslau/Twitter