U.S Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) has failed in her proposed move to stop the U.S Military from recruiting on Twitch.
Had the bill passed the House Committee on Appropriation Bill would have barred the U.S. military from using federal funds to have “a presence on Twitch.com or any video game, e-sports, or livestreaming platform.”
The amendment came after AOC criticized the U.S. military’s use of platforms such as Twitch to recruit young viewers into joining the military. The controversy started when the U.S. military’s official Twitch account ran “competitions” which it’s claimed were being used as recruitment tools. The account has also been aggressively banning users who bring up past U.S. war crimes.
After the vote had failed, AOC took to Twitter to highlight her frustration:
Imagine trying to explain to your colleagues who are members of Congress what Twitch is 😭
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 30, 2020
“Imagine trying to explain to your colleagues who are members of Congress what Twitch is..." AOC began her thread on the social media platform. "When our legislative bodies aren’t sufficiently responsive to tech, then that means we don’t have the tools required to protect people." She continued. "This is partially why companies know way more about you than you may even be aware of - bc[sic] it’s legal, and Congress is struggling to keep up.”
The main takeaway from this is clear, people in charge of policy just don’t seem to get technology. AOC did at least take away some positives from the vote:
“The good news: a majority of the Dem party supported this amendment." AOC commented near the end of the thread. "That’s a really solid start for this being the first time this issue has been brought before Congress. We’ve made great strides since *that* Senate FB hearing, but we’ve got a lot of room to still improve!”
Twitch is on the radar
The only good that comes from this news is that the federal government is at least aware of the military’s controversial use of Twitch. As AOC notes, they’ve made strides since the Facebook hearing. And as people in charge become more exposed to the changing world, maybe things will start to change. Until then, however, it seems like the concept of Twitch — and how the military is using it — is mostly lost on them.