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AOC’s fight against child military recruitment highlights generational divide within Congress

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Twitch’ amendment, which sought to limit U.S. military ads on the digital streaming platform failed in House vote.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is a powerful communicator, and part of that includes staying on top of relevant platforms and forms of communication younger demographics are using.

However in a 292-126 vote Thursday night, the House rejected an amendment by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), that would have limited U.S. military recruitment ads on Twitch that target minors.

The bill’s failing not only highlights a generational divide, but the issue of tech literacy within Congress.

This was previously seen in 2019’s infamous House hearing with Mark Zuckerberg, where older members of Congress failed to keep up with tech and internet jargon, as well as basic terms needed to understand the Facebook platform and what it was doing with user data.

It went abysmally, so when asked to understand the issue of the US military using the Twitch platform to recruit young users via ads… you can see where this is going.

 “Right now, currently, children on platforms such as Twitch are bombarded with banner ads linked to recruitment signup forms that can be submitted by children as young as 12 years old. These are not education outreach programs for the military,” AOC said on the House floor.

AOC tweeted her frustration on her attempt to connect and win over her colleagues Thursday:

“Imagine trying to explain to your colleagues who are members of Congress what Twitch is,” tweeted, AOC, adding a crying emoji afterwards. 
 

Twitch is a digital streaming platform where gamers can live-stream their games, and people can tune-in and watch. Similar to Youtube, there is plenty of opportunity for advertisers to target the platform’s majority-young users, which the U.S. military is taking advantage of.

“It’s totally fine if you don’t know what Twitch is. But tech literacy is becoming [a] growing need in Congress so we can legislate to protect people’s privacy” AOC continued in a Twitter thread.

“We’ve made great strides since *that* Senate FBI hearing, but we’ve got a lot of room to improve,” AOC ended.
 

When a majority of the House votes against a measure that would effectively protect young, impressionable teens, a larger issue is brought to the forefront. 

Tech literacy, especially in an age when technology is increasingly prevalent in day-to-day communication, is imperative. This lack of education exhibited by Congress gives companies and organizations the opportunity to be 10 steps ahead of any form of legislation that would call them out for such practices, in the way AOC has. 

The Army, Navy, Air Force and National Guard all participate in sponsorships and partnerships, with the exception of the Marine Corps and the National Guard.

Yes, Congress has made subtle strides, but has a significant way to go in order to fully understand the repercussions of the Military’s targeting tactics. 

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