A draft amendment filed Wednesday to the House Appropriations Committee by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) would ban the U.S. military from “[maintaining] a presence on Twitch.com or any video game, e-sports, or live-streaming platform.”
What Happened: The legislation submitted by Ocasio-Cortez would prevent the military from engaging in any type of recruitment on these streaming services. “It’s incredibly irresponsible for the Army and the Navy to be recruiting impressionable young people and children via live streaming platforms,” Ocasio-Cortez told Motherboard.
Twitch, which is owned by Amazon.com, Inc. (NYSE: AMZN), has not responded publicly to the bill.
The Army paused the streaming efforts this week in response to First Amendment concerns, The New York Times reported.
Why It’s Important: The Army, Air Force and Navy all sponsor esports teams and have been accused of using streaming platforms to recruit.
The Army previously ran a promotion for a giveaway that was used to collect potential recruits' personal information.
This is not the first time the military's esport teams have been under fire; the Navy and Army esports team banned commentators asking about American war crimes on their team's livestreams on Twitch.
The Army team had even specifically banned certain phrases from being used in their streaming chats.
The ACLU has gotten involved, arguing the military's livestream ban on specific topics infringes on the First Amendment rights of individuals.
What’s Next: The proposed amendment will first be considered by the House Appropriations Committee on Rules to determine whether the bill will go forward. If it makes it through that step, then would wind its way through the legislative process.
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