Technology and politics have always been uneasy bedfellows, where the former affects the latter in often very abrupt and obvious ways. Whether it’s through televised debates or social media or micro-fundraising, there’s usually little risk in embracing different and new technology and often a lot of upside. Whether that is true of Twitch, well, we might soon find out.
Bernie Sanders, the junior senator from Vermont and current Democratic presidential candidate, has opened a channel on ostensibly gaming streaming service Twitch. Sanders opened up the channel today, which has 1900 followers at the time of writing and is only following one other account, The Washington Post. He probably has to make that monthly Twitch Prime sub count.
It’s not clear what exactly Sanders will stream, but it does bear mentioning that Twitch does not necessarily require you strictly stream video games now. There are options for social eating, in case the senator wants to eat a meal while talking to Twitch chat, or just hanging around and talking. As long as you’re not engaging in anything illegal, illicit, or copyright-infringing, like watching TV, you can pretty much do anything you want on Twitch. So it probably makes sense as a place for Sanders to livestream rallies, debates he is in, or even just to react to news events if he wants to go that far.
On the other hand, the old axiom about feeding the beast in politics can also be true. Given enough time to say something you didn’t mean to say will inevitably lead to saying something you didn’t mean to say, and no one knows that better than livestreamers.
Regardless, it will be interesting to find out which other candidates, including incumbent president Donald Trump, might soon avail themselves of the internet beyond just Twitter.