Twitch Stops US Army From Using Fake Giveaways For Recruitment

The US Army esports channel has reportedly been linking to "giveaways" that did not appear to exist.


Twitch has reportedly forced the US Army to stop presenting viewers with fake giveaways that give recruiters their contact information. A link would periodically appear in the U.S. Army's Twitch chat that would advertise the chance to win an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller but would lead to a sign-up page with no information about the contest, according to The Nation.

A disclosure at the bottom states that a recruiter would contact those who filled out the form. People as young as 12 could fill out the form, although a notice given after the form is filled out states that recruiters cannot contact anyone under the age of 16.

Twitch has now taken steps to shut down the giveaways. It told Kotaku in a statement, "Per our Terms of Service, promotions on Twitch must comply with all applicable laws. This promotion did not comply with our Terms, and we have required them to remove it."

A US Army spokesperson told GameSpot "The eSports Team currently uses the platform for its giveaway program. Participants who click through to the landing page and fill out the virtual information card are entered for a chance to win. While the landing page looks generic, each giveaway has its own URL and marketing activity code that directly connect the registrant to the specific giveaway. An eligible winner is selected at random, and the prize is given out. Twitch asked our team to remove the giveaway for lack of transparency, and they did. The team is exploring options to use platforms for giveaways that will provide more external clarity."

The Army, Navy, and Air Force all stream on Twitch under their esports teams, which also double as recruiters during streams. This has been the subject of controversy since anyone as young as 13 can sign-up for Twitch, allowing recruiters to interact with a young audience.

The US Army Twitch channel was recently criticized for banning users for mentioning US war crimes. Prior to that, people turned getting banned from the US Army esports Discord channel into a speed run.

This comes after Twitch has promised to take more aggressive action against streamers for violating its terms, including giving Dr Disrespect a permanent ban without publicly disclosing the reason. Twitch itself has been the subject of recent criticism for releasing a Black Lives Matter video featuring primarily white streamers and for saying that the G in LGBTQIA+ stood for "gamer."

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