The US Army hosts a Twitch channel and Discord server dedicated to gaming as apart of their recent esports initiatives. What they probably didn’t anticipate was thousands of Twitter users racing to get banned from their pages by mentioning war crimes. It actually became a challenge to see who could get banned from the US Army’s Discord server the fastest. Users resented their esports initiatives, declaring them a predatory recruitment tactic aimed at young people. This controversy spilled over onto Twitch during a Wednesday night Call of Duty: Warzone stream.
— The Big Chillin (@Kofie) July 8, 2020
Green Beret Joshua “Strotnium” David, was live playing the game on the US Army’s Twitch channel, when users began flooding the chat with messages regarding war crimes and references to the esports initiatives predatory nature. It wasn’t long before the ban hammer came out, with user after user being blocked from the Twitch page, including esports personality Rod “Slasher” Breslau. Breslau posted a video of himself getting banned for the comment “what’s your favorite US war crime” and quickly realized the chat was automated to ban commenters who used the phrase “war crime.” This sparked yet another speedrun challenge as users raced to the US Army’s Twitch page to presumably get banned for their comments. One Twitter user even took to the opportunity to highlight the transphobic culture within the military and share their ban receipts.
i used to be only banned from joining the military for being trans… but now im also banned from the us army esports twitch. my secret? i typed “google operation ranch hand it’s a cool new game by nintendo”. every ban amplifies the power of the cultural marxist agenda 10x OOOGH pic.twitter.com/ue4v01exnN
— kirnixis (@kirnixis) July 3, 2020
The US Army’s Discord server had to be shut down due to member influx and is still inaccessible. Their Twitch channel dates back months and is still up, but the train wreck on Wednesday prompted a response from the US Army. They have released a statement to Vice addressing this entire situation:
“The U.S. Army eSports Team follows the guidelines and policies set by Twitch, and they did ban a user from their account,” a representative of the U.S. Army esports team said in a statement. “Team members are very clear when talking with potential applicants that a game does not reflect a real Army experience. They discuss their career experiences in real terms with factual events. Team members ensure people understand what the Army offers through a realistic lens and not through the lens of a game meant for entertainment. This user’s question was an attempt to shift the conversation to imply that Soldiers commit war crimes based on an optional weapon in a game, and we felt that violated Twitch’s harassment policy. The U.S. Army offers youth more than 150 different careers, and ultimately the goal of the Army eSports Team is to accurately portray that range of opportunities to interested youth.”