The US Army has been caught using sketchy tactics to draw in potential new recruits on Twitch.
It’s a tale as old as gaming itself. The US Army has – since gaming turned into a massive industry full of shooters – always felt it to be a method of recruitment. While controversial, the US Army – alongside the Navy and Air Force – does have their very own Twitch accounts.
All things considered, it is pretty commonplace, gaming is a hobby that a lot of people have in common, young and old. But, what stands out is the people behind the screen. Many of the troops who contribute to the stream often act as recruiters, telling the highlights of being in the Army while ignoring the various pitfalls and things to look out for. With a platform like Twitch, however, they can easily get in touch with people who shouldn’t be thinking about joining while watching a man blast away enemies without parents’ supervision.
It also seems like they’re very much aware of the shady methods they’ve employed by simply acting like they’re “one of the guys” playing video games and talking about how much they love their core or division. In a livestream hosted by the Navy, one user took to the comments to snidely remark “I see you guys are upgrading from recruiting out of low-income schools, nice.” This was while the streamer at the time was tending to questions from potential new recruits.
The snide user was warned that if he discussed the Navy’s recruiting practices, he’d be banned. Political commentator, Hasan Piker, called the act of using Twitch as a method to recruit “predatory” as any relatively consistent streamer tends to grow a loyal and trusting fanbase. One that will do anything a streamer says.
The most sketchy situation, though, was in recent Army streams. In it, they would redirect interested viewers to a “giveaway link” for an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. The giveaway itself is kind of a sketchy thing when considering the channel and giveaway is basically sponsored by the Army, but it gets worse when you click the link. The supposed giveaway page makes no mention of the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller, rather it’s a recruitment page.
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The seemingly fake giveaways got so much attention, Twitch caught wind of it and was forced to stamp it out, demanding the Army cease with these fake giveaways. Nothing’s seemingly changed, they still stream frequently. They also go about threatening to ban users who ask about war crimes and question the use of Twitch as their means of pseudo-recruitment.
What do you think? Should Twitch drop the ball and suspend them? Do you think this will make a difference? Tell us below! PS: Please be respectful and remain on-topic.