In July 2020, the US military had landed on Twitch with its own channel, causing several disputes. But it wasn't the bogus give-aways or the attempts to recruit kids that attracted the attention of most.
Twitch chat users didn't seem interested in video games or soldiers' lives, but more a ask about war crimes committed by the army in the numerous wars fought in recent years.
One sentence in particular "What's your favorite war crime?", what is your favorite war crime, had become extremely frequent. Popularized by the activist Jordan Uhl, this question had flooded the chat of every Army and Navy live, which had also started broadcasting on Twitch.
The solution found by the army initially was to ban every possible problematic word and controversial user. But many pointed out that the military, as part of the state, could not do such a thing. The first amendment to the American constitution guarantees the possibility of petitioning the government and obliges the executive to respond.
The threat of congressional suspension of internet recruitment funds, coupled with the possible judicial consequences of a violation of the constitution, they had the US military temporarily withdraw from its positions on Twitch.
To this story today is added a further detail revealed by Micah Loewinger, journalist and producer of the On The Media podcast. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, which allows anyone to access information held by public administrations, Loewinger found and released a set of instructions that the navy men had to follow to handle activist "attacks" in Twitch chat.
The pages published on the Loewinger Twitter profile contain a real one Twitch behavior guide. From the tone to be played during lives, what to say, what games to play, streamers had instructions for everything. These also include precise schemes on how to answer the fateful question on war crimes.
More than answering the question though, the instructions seem to teach soldiers how to divert users' attention to something else. The answers indicated in fact try to return to the topic of marine life or gaming. At the most, if the user is particularly concerned about the activity of the navy, he is advised to contact his representative in parliament.