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US Army and Navy unban Twitch commenter who criticized the military

They also unbanned other users.
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The US Army and Navy have agreed to unban Jordan Uhl, the activist who linked to a Wikipedia page listing US military war crimes in their Twitch chats. After the incident, Uhl wrote an article criticizing the military for using Twitch to scout for potential recruits, especially since recruiters can interact with kids as young as 13.

In a letter sent to Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, which represented Uhl, the Navy justified his ban by pointing out that he violated the channel’s spam policy when he kept posting similar messages over a period of three days. The Navy agreed, however, that it needs to post comprehensive rules on its page to ensure its viewers are aware of them. It has already posted its policies under its About section and has unbanned Uhl and all other previously banned users “as a gesture of good faith.”

The Army’s letter was much shorter, merely telling the Knight Institute that it has approved its request to unban Uhl. It previously told Vice, however, that it’s “reinstating access for accounts previously banned for harassing and degrading behavior on its Twitch stream.” The Army is also returning to the platform after pausing its streaming activities following Uhl’s ban, which generated a lot of criticism from First Amendment groups. It told Vice that it’s now “reviewing and clarifying its policies and procedures for the stream.”

While neither military branch mentioned the reason for the other users’ ban, the Knight Institute said in a statement that they were prohibited from posting in chat “for engaging in core political speech.” The institute’s whole statement reads:

“We’re pleased that both the Army and Navy have agreed to unban users who were banned for engaging in core political speech. It’s also good to see that the Navy is committing not to ban users on the basis of viewpoint. Of course, it matters how these new policies are applied. We will monitor the Navy’s practices closely to ensure that the new policies are enforced consistently and in a viewpoint-neutral manner. We look forward to reviewing the Army’s policies once they are posted.”

In this article: US Army, US Navy, Twitch, Jordan Uhl, news, gaming
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