Gamers are notoriously thin-skinned when it comes to criticism, but you’d imagine ones conditioned by the might of the United States military would be a bit tougher than, say, the average 13-year-old shit-talker. Not so, it turns out.
As first reported by esports consultant Rod Breslau, the U.S. Army’s esports team recently suspended all its “social activity, streaming on Twitch, and official activations with Twitch including participating in upcoming Twitch Rivals events” after advertising fake contest giveaways and allegedly violating our First Amendment right as Americans to repeatedly ask them about war crimes.
Apparently, the military’s gamers don’t like it when you ask questions like “whats your favorite us war crime?” or bring up Eddie Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who faced numerous war crimes charges, while they livestream Call of Duty. This, while somewhat understandable, is what we civilians like to call “tough noogies,” since it’s a well-established fact within U.S. constitutional law that the government cannot infringe on our rights to free speech, including statements critical of our country.
“Nor does the government have the authority, in a forum like this one, to adopt rules that effectively prohibit participants from criticizing the military,” wrote lawyers representing Jordan Uhl, one of those recently banned from both U.S. Army and Navy Twitch chatrooms for bringing up the military’s not-so-spotless history.
“I plan to take this as far as we need to,” Uhl told Vice. “This isn’t just about me getting unbanned. This is about people being able to use their voice online to speak critically of the government.”
It’s worth mentioning here that Uhl’s lawyers are part of the Knight Institute, which is the same group that brought Trump’s banning of followers (including the likes of Stephen King) to court. Considering how judges ruled in that case, it’s safe to assume how this will go down.
[via The Verge]
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