After banning viewers for asking about war crimes, the Army was also found to be running fake giveaways.
The US Army has an esports team that plays video games and streams them to Twitch. However, it appears as if the army has gotten into some trouble for using fake giveaways as a way to recruit. Twitch has reportedly stepped in and put a stop to this.
You probably saw something last week about viewers being banned from the Twitch channel for asking about US war crimes. Well, The Nation ran a report looking into the US Army esports channel, detailing how viewers as young as 13 are watching the military stream. It also talks about how they encourage people to enlist. It’s also detailed that the Twitter account links to a page with “Register to win!” at the top but doesn’t detail anything other than a sign-up form that allows people as young as 12 to submit the form, but also mentions how recruiters are not permitted to contact anyone under the age of 16.
According to The Nation, this giveaway on Twitch was inviting viewers to follow a link to win an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. This message was automated and occurred “repeatedly.” The link directs the viewer to a recruiting form with no “mention of a contest, odds, total number of winners, or when a drawing will occur.” The Nation appears to have reached out, but the Army has declined to comment.
Speaking to Kotaku, a Twitch spokesperson said, “Per our Terms of Service, promotions on Twitch must comply with all applicable laws.” They add, “This promotion did not comply with our Terms, and we have required them to remove it.”
If you’re wondering why the Army has been more prominent recently on Twitch, it’s because they are an official sponsor of Twitch’s “Twitch Rivals” esports brand and channel. Two anonymous sources have told Kotaku that this deal likely cost the Army around $1 million. The Nation reported that Lara Bollinger, a public affairs officer with the Navy Recruiting Command said, “Through our partnership with Twitch, the most popular e-sports streaming site, the Navy has immediate access to millions of 17-to-24-year-old e-sports enthusiasts on the platform to showcase a side of Navy life that viewers may not expect.”
It certainly seems odd that the Army is trying to enlist people through the incentive of “winning” something. For now, it seems as if Twitch has put a stop to the situation.