U.S. Army Halts Twitch Activity After Backlash

The U.S. Army Esports account is stepping away from Twitch after all the fervor about their presence on the platform. Some playful interactions on Twitter led to users checking out their Twitch account, and then everything kicked into high gear. Giveaways that led users toward recruitment pages and comments on every single upload spamming “war crimes.” Now, comes news of the military shutting down that channel for the time being. Rod “Slasher” Breslau delivered the news on Twitter and Kotaku later confirmed his findings from an email. The details include the fact that this is just a suspension of marketing efforts until the Spring of 2021. Still, it is pretty remarkable that a bunch of Twitch users caused this much change in a relatively short amount of time.

“Sources tell me due to recent media coverage of fake giveaways and potentially unconstitutional bans, the US Army esports team has paused social activity, streaming on Twitch, and official activations with Twitch including participating in upcoming Twitch Rivals events,” Breslau wrote. “according to one email seen, while there is no official time frame for a return of the US Army across social media or on their Twitch channel, official marketing activations may not see a return until all the way in Spring 2021.”

Katie Fallow, a senior staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute put out a press release on the matter as well.

“Once the government opens up a space for expressive activity to the public at large, the First Amendment prohibits it from excluding speakers from that space on the basis of viewpoint,” Fallow explained. “The Army and Navy can’t constitutionally delete comments or ban people from these Twitch channels simply for asking questions about issues they would rather not address.”

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