Congress has voted to kill an amendment that would have blocked the military from recruiting through streaming platforms like Twitch, with nearly half of Democrats in the House joining the effort to strike down the measure.
A House vote of 196-292 easily quashed the appropriations bill amendment on Thursday, a measure introduced by New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to bar military funding for outreach to young gamers. While Republicans opposed the amendment unanimously, Democrats were split down the middle, with 103 joining the GOP and only a narrow majority of 126 voting in favor.
“War is not a game,” Ocasio-Cortez said on the House floor ahead of the vote. “This amendment is specifically to block funding for recruitment practices on services such as Twitch, which are live streaming platforms largely populated by children well under the age of military recruitment rules.”
Children as young as 13… are targeted for recruitment forms that can be filled online.
The self-avowed democratic socialist took to Twitter after the vote to vent frustration about tech-illiterate colleagues, asking followers to “imagine trying to explain… what Twitch is” to elderly lawmakers, observing that “Congress can’t keep up” with the pace of technology. Despite scores of fellow Democrats shooting down her amendment, Ocasio-Cortez nonetheless deemed the failed vote a “really solid start.”
When our legislative bodies aren’t sufficiently responsive to tech, then that means we don’t have the tools required to protect people.This is partially why companies know way more about you than you may even be aware of – bc it’s legal, and Congress is struggling to keep up.
The good news: a majority of the Dem party supported this amendment.That’s a really solid start for this being the first time this issue has been brought before Congress.We’ve made great strides since *that* Senate FB hearing, but we’ve got a lot of room to still improve!
Among Democrats to vote no on the AOC amendment was Ted Lieu of California, an Air Force veteran and former military prosecutor. His opposition prompted a wave of criticism online, some deeming the rep a reliable “supporter of the military industrial complex.”
@tedlieu you’ve got some explaining to do. You support the military recruiting young teens on Twitch?
According to how @tedlieu votes, it seems he supports the military using predatory tactics to recruit 13 year olds on gaming platforms
He’s a military man and a supporter of the industrial military complex. America doesn’t have a liberal party.
At 51-years-old, Lieu is slightly younger than the average representative – just over 57, according to the Congressional Research Service – a fact House candidate Richard Thripp said played into Thursday’s vote, citing a lack of “technological literacy” among older lawmakers.
The Senate is even older, at 61.8 years old on average. If your reps aren’t well-versed in the workings of modern technology, how can we trust them to protect us from online consumer predation? Especially for the sake of our seniors, the most statistically vulnerable to scams.
Though the US Army paused its “e-sports” activities on Twitch earlier this month on the heels of several critical press reports, the practice has been condemned as an effort to draw impressionable children as young as 13 for future military service, with soldiers streaming war-themed games such as Call of Duty while chatting with teenage viewers for hours on end. The Pentagon was also found to use deceptive giveaways to generate interest, which ultimately directed participants to recruitment forms.
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