US Navy’s Training For Twitch Streaming Includes Recruitment, Avoiding Talk Of War Crimes

The US military has had a controversial history with the popular streaming platform Twitch. In July, reporter Jordan Uhl wrote an exposé on the US Army grooming children for recruitment on their Twitch stream, as well as banning anyone who brought up the United States’ history of war crimes. Shortly after Uhl’s report, the House of Representatives’ resident gamer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced a bill that would ban the military from this practice, which failed to garner the votes needed to pass. This means that the military is back on Twitch, and the US Navy has developed a script for handling the United States’ criminal past and present.

Micah Loewinger, reporter for On The Media, submitted a request form through the Freedom of Information Act to learn more about the Navy’s Twitch program. He received training materials for the program. Among these materials was a manual published in July, which provided pre-written responses for those who follow Jordan Uhl’s lead and ask about war crimes during a stream.

According to this journal, Navy streamers have four possible responses to the question “What’s your favorite US war crime?” These responses are four different variations of “don’t ask us that.” One of these responses encourages viewers to call their congressperson—presumably to ask them politely to stop doing war crimes—while another scolded viewers for engaging in “personal attacks” against the streamer. Other responses redirect the conversation towards life in the Navy, encouraging anyone else to ask a question about the streamer’s service.

None of the responses instruct the streamer to address the United States’ involvement in numerous atrocities, which should come as no surprise considering the Twitch channel’s purpose is to convince people to join the military. Interestingly, none of the responses involve telling prospective recruits that the Navy does not or will not commit war crimes.

So, it looks like curious citizens are out of luck if they want to hear about, say, the numerous crimes of former Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher from a real person in the Navy, they’re out of luck. Unfortunately, the public may never know the Navy Twitch streamers’ favorite war crimes. It seems that being too open about that is bad for recruitment numbers.

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