Amid growing criticism of its increasing use of Twitch as a recruitment tool, it appears that the US Army is backing away from the platform for now -- even as a US Representative is planning legislation to more formally keep the Army out of gaming spaces for good.
Kotaku reports that it has seen an email sent by someone close to the US Army stating that "due to recent media coverage of fake giveaways and potentially unconstitutional bans, the U.S. Army esports team has paused social activity, streaming on Twitch, and official activations with Twitch including participating in upcoming Twitch Rivals events."
The email went on to say that these efforts may not resume until spring 2021.
The "fake giveaways" is in reference to a seeming contest that had been spammed by a chatbot on the US Army's Twitch channel that said viewers could enter to win an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller by following a link.
However, that link led to an Army recruitment form that did not mention anything about the supposed contest or the controller.
Additionally, the US Army has been criticized in recent weeks for banning users in both its Twitch chat and Discord channels who were critical of its practices, including asking questions about or pointing out its history of war crimes.
In the midst of this, Vice reports that US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has filed a draft amendment to the House Appropriations bill to stop the US Army from using its funds to "maintain a presence on Twitch.com or any video game, e-sports, or live-streaming platform."
As it is still currently a draft amendment, it will first need to be approved by the House Appropriations Committee and be approved by multiple other committees before it can be voted on by the US House of Representatives, and then by the US Senate.
Meanwhile, Vice also reports that while the US Army has backed off of Twitch for the time being, the US Navy is still active on Twitch, and according to its Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) Twitch Guide for Streamers is specifically using the platform to recruit.
Additionally, it appears to be using similar criteria to the US Army to ban members of chat who ask about war crimes, a move that the ACLU has criticized as "unconstitutional".