Twitch Shuts Down The U.S. Army’s Recruitment Drive Disguised As Fake Giveaways
Did you know the U.S. Army is gaming on Twitch?
That’s right, you can watch livestreams of the American military playing their favorite video games. They even promote giveaways where you can win cool gaming prizes if you just fill out some personal information.
Big problem, though. The giveaways aren’t real. They’re just military recruitment forms. And Twitch is telling the U.S. Army to stop doing it.
“Per our Terms of Service, promotions on Twitch must comply with all applicable laws,” said a Twitch spokesperson in a statement provided to gaming outlet . “This promotion did not comply with our Terms, and we have required them to remove it.”
Many probably didn’t realize that the U.S. Army even had an esports team. This development seems to have come to light for most people when the military recently launched its . The army’s problems started after a few regular Twitch streamers decided to jump into a live broadcast to see what was up.
“Have a nice time getting banned, my dude,” replied the on-camera streamer with the U.S. Army before Uhl the boot. The army claims that it banned Twitch viewers like Uhl because they broke Twitch’s policies on harassment.
However, Uhl’s experience watching the U.S. Army’s Twitch stream wasn’t for naught. Writing in , Uhl shared a few alarming aspects of the military’s video game livestream. One of the issues detailed was how the soldiers were promoting links to gamer gear giveaways during the Twitch stream to viewers as young as 13.
The Army esports team routinely points viewers as young as 13 to this page with “Register To Win!” at the top in all caps. In some cases, they claim you can win a $200 controller.
— jordan (@JordanUhl) July 15, 2020
But, upon clicking the link, a young gamer looking to win a $200 controller is met with a nondescript form with no mention of the promotion or contest details. The page is really an Army recruitment form.
This week, Twitch acted by enforcing its policies against such promotions.
While some may be surprised by the U.S. Army’s use of Twitch as a recruitment tool, the military hasn’t exactly tried to hide its objective.
“Esports is just an avenue to start a conversation,” said Major General Frank Muth in with ThinkTech Hawaii posted on YouTube. “None of our players…go in there saying ‘I’m a recruiter, come join the army.’”
“It naturally devolves into a conversation, ‘What do you do?’, ‘I’m in the army,’” Major General Muth continued.
So, it seems likely that the U.S. Army will continue its esports efforts on Twitch. It’ll just have to follow the platform’s rules and stop promoting recruitment forms under the guise of fake gear giveaways.
Also, now that this is all out there, the army’s streamers will probably have to deal with a lot more trolls in the future too.