A giant, scathing piece on the U.S. Army using recruiting tactics on children as young as 13 ran in The Nation yesterday. The original piece is a lot to take in, but one aspect is the military allegedly using Twitch as a vessel to run bait-and-switch contests that send users to a link that purports to offer them a chance at winning an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller with heavy customization options.
Instead, the link allegedly sent them to a recruitment form that has zero mention of the contest at all. Sign up for a controller, get a spot in the Army – that’s not how this is supposed to work, is it? Automated links that shoot out at scheduled intervals are nothing new on Twitch; many popular streamers use it to broadcast Discord channels, brands, contests, or even just reminders to like, share, and subscribe. But this usage tricking people into heading to a recruitment site via a controller contest appears far outside of what the rules allow.
Twitch responded to a Kotaku inquiry about the shady tactics being used. The murky controller contests have been removed via Twitch’s requirements. “Per our Terms of Service, promotions on Twitch must comply with all applicable laws,” a Twitch spokesperson told Kotaku “This promotion did not comply with our Terms, and we have required them to remove it.”
If you’re looking for more information on how video games and streaming services are being used to recruit for the U.S. Army, there’s a lot more in The Nation piece.