After all manner of obstacles and controversy, the US Army has confirmed it intends to return to Twitch “in the near future”. In a statement provided to Kotaku, the Army spokesperson said that not only will the channel resume, but previously banned members will be able to rejoin.
“The team is reviewing and clarifying its policies and procedures for the stream and will provide all who have been banned the opportunity to participate in the space as long as they follow the team’s guidelines,” the statement read. It also spelled out that “personal attacks, crude language, pornographic material, harrassment and bullying will not be tolerated on the stream.”
Of course, these things are forbidden in Twitch’s own policies, and the statement doesn’t address the cause for the recent flare up: that some users were being banned for asking questions about US war crimes in the channel’s comment stream. This immediately prompted questions as to whether the US Army—which is obviously an agency of the US government—was violating the First Amendment by regulating speech in a public forum.
Last week an amendment proposed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to ban military recruitment on Twitch was voted down. The US Army account was itself in breach of Twitch’s Terms of Service recently when the link it provided for a contest to win an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller actually linked to an Army recruitment form with no mention of a prize.