House of Representatives Votes Down Military Twitch Ban

A proposal put before the United States House of Representatives in hopes of preventing the military from using platforms like Twitch for recruiting has been voted down. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed the amendment to the House Appropriations bill after filing it over a week ago. The move followed some controversy within the past few weeks regarding esports divisions of the U.S. military branches were conducting themselves on Twitch. Questionable giveaways and bans of people who spoke out against groups within the Twitch chat were just some of the incidents that took place.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez spoke out against the practice of recruiting people to the military via Twitch ahead of the vote on the measure. Twitch attracts audiences across all ages, and some of the banners viewers may see on the platform would allow young individuals to fill out forms showing interest in the military, she said.

“We cannot conflate war and military service with this kind of gamified format,” she said.

Addressing the measure further, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez referenced the difficulty of trying to explain something like Twitch to members of Congress. She said tech literacy is becoming a growing need in Congress and that even though this measure was ultimately defeated in its first appearance, the support it garnered was a “really solid start” for the issue.

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Issues of bans levied against people who spoke out against the military branches via Twitch chat brought up discussions of First Amendment rights as people questioned if the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy had the right to ban people from Twitch chat since they are extensions of the government. Twitch previously asked the U.S. Army to cease its giveaways because they weren’t transparent enough.