The military has long had a foot in gaming, most notably as a recruitment tool with efforts like the early 2000s’ America’s Army series. The army’s gaming arm came back into the public eye this week, after the U.S. Army’s esports account tweeted “UwU” in response to a tweet by chat app Discord.
The tweet went viral, with many criticizing the army’s use of the esports initiative as a recruitment tool to target young people.
uwu pwease enwist and commit waw cwimes uwu
— jay is antifascist, pro-Black lives (@shutupfish) June 30, 2020
Soon, a new speedrun challenge spawned on Twitter where users competed to get banned from the US Army esports Discord server the fastest, Polygon reported. The server was flooded with users posting in an effort to try and get banned–while some posted classic “copypasta” text, others simply linked to the Wikipedia page for “United States war crimes.”
Most videos showed users achieving bans within 20 seconds, with the mods clearly active to keep up with the influx of new users.
The main functionality of the Discord channel has now been disabled. While it’s still possible to join the server, reacting to the rules message no longer grants access to the main chat channels–though the number of reactions continues to tick up as users attempt to join.
According to Polygon, the Discord channel was originally disabled with a message by a moderator called “UwU” reading “Temporarily disabled. Thanks for the fun tonight!” That message was later replaced with one reading “Have a bit more patience while we finalize some back end stuff in the server in order to make it an enjoyable place for you all to game. We apologize for the inconvenience to those that are legit wanting to join us. Trolls make things fun for everyone!”
As at the time of writing, the latest message in the Discord’s welcome channel simply reads “This page is intentionally disabled…”