I’ve seen a lot of people on Reddit and other forums ask if it’s okay to swear on stream. Gamers are pretty well known for things like swearing, but does swearing hurt your stream? Does it help your stream?
The short answer is that you probably won’t lose any viewers by not swearing. You may lose viewers by swearing.
I swear in my streams, though not intentionally. It’s really just my personality — I swear a lot. I also don’t put up the optional “mature content filter.”
That’s actually a bad move. I don’t know how often Twitch goes around actually checking on those mature content filters, but I’ve never had an issue. I don’t like having another thing to stop someone from viewing my stream. That filter is another button they have to push to get to viewing me. I hate that.
That said, honesty is the best policy. Always. I should be using the mature content filter if I’m swearing.
Twitch’s Community Guidelines (formerly Rules of Conduct) don’t mention swearing. They mention harassment, but not swearing specifically.
If you’re swearing at people, I’m gonna call it like it is and say you’re a dick.
If that’s your thing, cool. Maybe you want to be known in the Twitch community as that dick that swears at people. Hey, it’s your brand. But be aware that’s what’s going to happen.
I don’t follow people like that myself. I wouldn’t let them become an official streamer here at CharityStreams.com. I’m cool with swearing, but don’t swear at people. Be nice. Don’t be a dick.
It’s also worth pointing out that there are varying degrees of swearing on your stream. There’s the low end of the spectrum, where you don’t swear at all. Then there’s the high end of the spectrum, where every other word is the F-Bomb. And in between there’s moderate swearing and even maybe just every once in awhile.
The frequency of your swearing will definitely affect your viewership.
Plus, there’s the severity of your swearing. What words are you saying? Fuck and Shit are considered pretty harsh words. In the US, you can’t say them on cable TV. But, you can say Crap.
A lot of “sexual” terms are also not allowed. I put “sexual” in quotes because I’m referring to sexual reproductive organs but not necessarily in the context of being used for sex.
Different people will feel differently about different words. Some people are cool with all the swear words. Some people are okay with some but don’t like others. Then there’s gonna be people who don’t want to hear a single one.
You can’t please everyone. That’s not possible. Someone is going to be upset. Either that you swear too much, or that you swear too little, or that you used that one specific word that they hate.
What you should do is be yourself on stream. If you swear, swear. I do advise putting up a mature content filter, though.
And of course, you’re more likely to keep a bigger audience if you don’t swear, but also keep in mind that a non-swearing audience may not be the target audience you want. A bigger audience isn’t always a better audience, especially if they’re not gonna buy what you’re selling.