​13 years later, World of Warcraft is STILL telling queer guilds they're not allowed to advertise their queerness

13 years ago, World of Warcraft was embroiled in a scandal when company management backed up a moderator who punished a player for advertising an LGBTQ-friendly guild, who argued that advertising the fact that you're queer violated the game's hate speech laws by provoking homophobes to send hateful messages to group members.

After a predictable amount of opprobrium, the company finally reversed itself, but apparently it has no institutional memory because it has literally done exactly the same thing again.

A guild in World of Warcraft Classic called GAY BOYS just had its name summarily changed to Guild ZFXPK and its founder was temporarily suspended. When the players involved queried the action on a forum, a Blizzard representative confirmed that they'd been punished because advertising the fact that they are gay invited slurs: "Picking a name that you can identify with without also using words that would illicit [sic] a reaction from other players would be far more beneficial."

The guild's members are awaiting a response to their appeal of the automated name change; they plan to march as their virtual selves on their WoW Classic server Blaumeux as an "in-game protest." Jilani forwarded Blizzard's notice about the guild's name change to Ars Technica, and it did not include any clarification about what rules the guild's name may have violated.

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Blizzard did not immediately respond to Ars Technica's questions about the affected guild's automatic name change or about how coordinated reports may have been gamed by abusive users to target a minority group within WoW.

Gay World of WarCraft guild forced to change name because of user complaints [Sam Machkovech/Ars Technica]