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Donald Trump joins Amazon’s video game streaming platform Twitch

President Donald Trump has joined Amazon’s popular video game live-streaming site Twitch in an apparent move to bolster his 2020 presidential re-election campaign.

Trump, who has a verified account on the platform and almost 40,000 followers as of the time of writing, made his Twitch debut by live-streaming his Thursday rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

On his official page are also links taking viewers to the Trump campaign’s website and online store, and one button reminding supporters to donate.

The president is following in the footsteps of political rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination and who also has a verified Twitch account (and 88,000 followers).

Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also made a surprise appearance on the platform in January during a live stream of an online video game fundraiser.

While Trump is known for being a prolific tweeter, by joining Twitch he may be trying to appeal to younger voters as the 2020 presidential campaign gets underway.

Launched in 2011, Twitch is an online streaming platform that’s predominantly used to live stream video gameplay, though it also hosts live streaming of music, sports, talk shows and a range of other events.

It has substantially grown its video game streaming business since its debut, and Amazon purchased the service for $1 billion in 2014. The company says it has 15 million daily visitors and 1.3 million users at any one time.

Trump has repeatedly criticized Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, hitting out at the company’s tax policies and accusing it of taking advantage of the US Postal Service.

Trump has also gone after video games in the past, blaming them for contributing to the “glorification of violence in our society” following school shootings. Research has not found a direct connection between people playing violent games and mass shootings.

But recent far-right attacks could point to a wider “gamification of terror” trend. On Wednesday, a gunman killed two people in the German town of Halle and appeared to have live streamed the attack on Twitch.

CNN