The US Army has recently been using video games and livestreaming as its latest arena for publicity and recruitment, however it has now been ordered by Twitch to remove a giveaway it was running which saw entrants redirected to an army recruitment page.
An initial report by The Nation this week reveals that during livestreams on the USArmyEsports channel, automated messages would appear in the chat telling viewers they could win an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller along with a link to enter the giveaway. However, this link “directs [viewers] to a recruiting form with no additional mention of a contest, odds, total number of winners, or when a drawing will occur,” according to the report.
Fast-forward a few days and Twitch has responded to the questionable giveaways and has, according to Kotaku, told the US Army to stop posting the ‘giveaway’ on its platform. In a statement, Twitch told Kotaku: “Per our Terms of Service, promotions on Twitch must comply with all applicable laws. This promotion did not comply with our Terms, and we have required them to remove it.”
The US Army has not commented.
The US Army has been ramping up its presence in the streaming and esports sphere recently to attract the next generation of recruits. It currently has a deal with Twitch itself in which the US Army is the main sponsor for Twitch rivals esports events. It is also a sponsor of Activision-Blizzard’s franchised Call of Duty League.
just having a good time with the US Army esports twitch stream @JordanUhl pic.twitter.com/qnjyxg1KP0
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) July 8, 2020
Last week, the US Army Esports channel was thrust into the spotlight after it emerged that phrases such as “war crimes” were censored in chat. Posting links to Wikipedia articles, such as the one listing United States war crimes, was also seeing people banned from the channel.
The US Navy and the US Air Force have been following a similar strategy, and also have Twitch channels.