US Army Reinstates Twitch Commenters It Banned for Asking About War Crimes

After a pause from streaming, the U.S. Army esports team is returning to Twitch and reinstating accounts it had previously banned.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4ayb7d/us-army-reinstates-twitch-commenters-it-banned-for-asking-about-war-crimes

Can’t wait to get a Twitch ban for bullying the US Army.

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Gonna need to start a new post-return speedrun category.

I’m not sure this counts as a victory? What did this accomplish with respect to actual progress on anti-war organizing, demilitarization, and (more achievably) shrinking the defense budget?

Now I’m all for clowning on the military whenever an opportunity presents itself. It’s grade A funtimes to amuse yourself in your free time. All the better when you get to stick a hypocrisy charge on them with 1A in this case. But I think the activism around this one missed the mark, if there even was progress to be had.

We got a couple press cycles about AOC (whom I love) proposing an amendment banning the military from recruiting on Twitch, which failed. I get that trying to recruit impressionable underage kids is really bad, but is it practical or tactical to spend legislative energy and hardwon political capital on this instead of something more meaningful on an amendment to the military budget? Or if you’re intending it as a moonshot (i.e. unlikely to pass) amendment to read the temperature of the room or make a splashy headline to draw attention to something egregious about the military, why this one? Also if your goal is to stop kids from getting recruited on Twitch, is an amendment the most effective way to do that?

So now we’ve gotten the army to unban people for asking about war crimes (except Uhl is still banned for some arbitrary and capricious reason). Did we win? Did we pull one over on the military? Do we commit to spamming the army’s twitch channel with war crime memes forever to try to attenuate their recruitment efforts on twitch? That doesn’t sound effective or a good use of time/effort. It’s perfectly fine as a joke n’ doke but I think far too much organizing effort went into championing this as if it were ever anyone’s cause celebre more than two weeks ago. In this case, I think the Left was a victim of #WasteYourTime2020.

And now look how many words it made me write. Hoisted.

I don’t think it’s really about winning - the only win you can get on the US military is keeping them from winning, too - but it’s no more a waste of time than anything else I do on Twitch. Making a comment asking about Haditha or the Highway of Death takes like ten seconds, and when enough people do it, it disrupts their ability to endear themselves to the teens.

Also, I don’t think electoral politics are going to solve any of the issues with our military. Dems have no interest in cutting the military budget. But I do think it’s good for AOC to address another predatory recruitment tactic in that it draws more attention to it than gaming websites reporting on it.

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I wonder if the fall of the Roman Empire was as morbidly funny as living through the decline of the US hegemony is.