Ads have become an integral part of the Twitch experience. The revenue generated helps out your favourite streamer, and will generally be of minor inconvenience to you. Covert advertisement, however, is illegal in the US – as is limiting the freedom of speech.
The United States Army has an official Twitch channel, where they stream their team and the tournaments that they partake in. In and of itself, this might seem somewhat peculiar to countries where the Army isn’t as big as it is in the States. However, with the popularity of Twitch, it is not surprising that more and more government agencies at large are getting into streaming on the platform.
The U.S. Army, however, has been using their stream to direct their viewers to enlistment and recruitment pages. News website ‘The Nation’ reported that the channel hosted several fake giveaways for Xbox controllers, with the link in the chat leading to the aforementioned recruitment pages. Considering the lack of age restrictions on Twitch as a platform, this kind of promotion is in quite bad taste.
Calling out the government’s war crimes isn’t harassment, it’s speaking truth to power. And banning users who ask important questions isn’t “flexing,” it’s unconstitutional. https://t.co/E8N10fM5IR
— ACLU (@ACLU) July 10, 2020
In addition to trying to get their viewers to enlist, they feature a very restrictive moderation style. Any chatters who inquire towards some of the less savoury acts committed by the army (the article mentions war crimes) will immediately get met with a ban. The American Civil Liberties Union explicitly condemned the moderation policy.
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