500 signatures reached
To: House Rules Committee
Let the House vote on AOC's Amendment to Ban Military Recruiting In Esports & Video Games
On Tuesday, July 28, the House Rules Committee will decide whether the House can vote on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's amendment that would prohibit the military from using funds to “maintain a presence on Twitch.tv or any video game, esports, or livestreaming platform."
Democrats control the Rules Committee and they will decide whether to allow a vote on AOC's amendment or block it from getting a vote.
Why is this important?
The US Military has been using esports and live-streaming recruiters playing video games on sites like Twitch.tv to recruit. Military recruiters from the Army, Navy and Air Force pose as “esports athletes” and hang out with young children with the ultimate objective of increasing recruitment.
The military collectively spends millions on promotions for these recruiting efforts, with some single-site or single-org partnerships exceeding millions.
On Twitch, there are no meaningful safeguards to restrict the military from using and exploiting these parasocial relationships with people under 16.
Recruiters often use video game tournaments in schools as recruiting mechanisms to target children as well.
Additionally, recruiters take advantage of the poor seeking steady income, the vulnerable longing for stability, and the undocumented living in fear because of their citizenship status. Now, at a time when all those factors are magnified by a pandemic that has left half the country out of work and over 30 percent unable to afford their housing payments, conditions are ripe for recruiters to prey on anxious youth. They abused this dynamic by employing murky “giveaways” until Twitch recently told them to stop.