Twitch Tells US Army To Quit Faking Giveaway

By Ben Hamill - July 22 2020

Twitch Tells US Army To Quit Faking Giveaway

Games and eSports streaming platform Twitch has told the US Army to stop advertising free fake goods and prizes on its Twitch eSports channel in an attempt to get users to land on the Army’s recruitment page. The clever tactic by the US Military apparently involved users being promised an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller in return for “clicking and switching”.

The response by Twitch follows a report compiled by online public interest and actuality broadcaster The Nation, investigating how the US Military is using one of the world’s most popular streaming platforms to recruit kids as young as 13 by trying to get them to enlist for service once they’re old enough.

The US Army, the Navy and even the US Air Force all have active eSports teams made up of active as well as official reserve personnel. According to The Nation, service personnel can often be seen chatting with young Twitch followers about life, eSports, video games, and, of course, the various opportunities associated with joining the US Army by signing up for military service.

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Giveaway Isn’t Real

The problem is that the Army’s recruitment outreach included the dropping of automated links into stream chats between military personnel and users. These automated messages informed viewers that they were eligible to win an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller being a prize that is part of a giveaway promotion.

The link would however redirect the viewer directly to a “recruiting form”. No mention to the contest, the odds of winning a controller, how many controllers will be given away, or even when the supposed drawing will occur were apparently made from this point on out.

Army Ordered To Remove Link

Ever since The Nation ran the report, gamers, streamers, viewers, and general members of the public have been lashing out at the Army’s cunning ploy in anger and disgust. And Twitch has reportedly informed the US Army that all promotions run on the platform are subject to the company’s terms of service. The Army, said a Twitch spokesperson, has been asked to remove the misleading link.

The fact that Army officials would, when asked by users what their favourite “US war crimes” were, block those users, is another major cause of concern, and one that may very well land the military in hot water. Ever since a US federal court ruled last year that President Donald Trump isn’t permitted to block his critics on social media (in his case, Twitter), deleting comments or blocking people voicing viewpoints not in line with that of the US Military, is essentially violating the first amendment.

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