The U.S. Army Esports team is going to reinstate banned Twitch viewers on their channel who asked about war crimes, according to VICE.
The government-run Twitch channel took a short hiatus from streaming after accusations of potentially violating viewers’ First Amendment rights. But it appears the team will make their return to Twitch “in the near future,” reinstating accounts that were banned for “harassing and degrading behavior.”
“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 Army told VICE. “Personal attacks, crude language, pornographic material, harassment and bullying will not be tolerated on the stream, and action will be taken if individuals choose to engage in this behavior.”
The story began when Twitch user Jordan Uhl was banned from the Army’s esports channel for asking “what’s your favorite u.s. w4r cr1me,” esports journalist Rod “Slasher” Breslau reported. The U.S. Navy followed suit, banning Uhl and other viewers for asking similar questions, according to a report by Kotaku.
The situation eventually crescendoed when the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University wrote a letter to the Army and Navy demanding viewers who asked about war crimes be unbanned. The Institute argued that the military branches “can’t constitutionally delete comments or ban people from these Twitch channels simply for asking questions about issues they would rather not address.”
There isn’t a specific date right now for when the Army will resume streaming on Twitch.