The US military has been pretty busy on Twitch recently. Both the Army and the Navy have accounts on the platform to share the activities of its esports teams, but in recent days, it’s been made abundantly clear that their purpose is to bolster recruitment efforts and now a congresswoman wants to put a stop to it.
According to a new report from VICE, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez filed a draft amendment yesterday (July 22) to the House Appropriations Bill that would prevent the military from using government-generated funds to “maintain a presence on Twitch.com or any video game, e-sports [sic], or live-streaming platform.”
The House Appropriations Bill helps the Pentagon set its budget for the upcoming year, but there’s a lengthy process for new submissions and amendments meaning AOC will have to jump through a lot of hoops if her unusual amendment is to survive. We’ll know more on that front when the House Appropriations Committee on Rules decides on what amendments are pushed through next week.
Regardless of the potentially long process ahead, AOC remains determined to put a stop to the military presence on Twitch. “It’s incredibly irresponsible for the Army and the Navy to be recruiting impressionable young people and children via live streaming platforms,” Ocasio-Cortez tells VICE. “War is not a game, and the Marine Corps’ decision not to engage in this recruiting tool should be a clear signal to the other branches of the military to cease this practice entirely.”
Eagle-eyed readers might have noticed that AOC, who is an avid League of Legends player who recently hit silver and admitted the game helps her deal with Twitter hate, has written twitch.com on the amendment. Although Twitch’s official URL is twitch.tv, the other address still redirects, so in that sense the bill is still sound.
While the amendment still has a long way to go to be successful, it seems the US military has read the room, especially after the US Army was ordered to remove misleading giveaways from its profile. According to Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau, the US Army has “paused social activity, streaming on Twitch, and official activations with Twitch” which includes today’s Twitch Rivals event.
The US Navy’s future on Twitch is unknown. While the Army has seemingly retreated altogether, the Navy has continued streaming, with its last stream taking place just seven hours ago.