A World of Warcraft Classic guild for gay players suddenly had its name changed earlier this week, after what Blizzard says were numerous reports that the title was inappropriate. The guild – Gay Boys – now has its name back after manual review. Blizzard says that the guild is free to continue appealing, but similarly suggests that the same action may keep happening.
A member of Gay Boys sent a copy of Blizzard’s initial email about the name change to Ars Technica. It said that “our fellow players reported your in-game name as inappropriate multiple times,” and that a “thorough investigation” led to the suspension of the guild’s creator. The group itself was automatically renamed ‘Guild ZFXPK.’
The suspension was quickly overturned, but it was a bit longer before Blizzard customer service reinstated the guild’s original name. A further message from the company says “I too would hate to lose my account if the account was caught up in something some thought was violating the TOS/EULA and got the guild renamed, and I’m bummed yours was.”
The Blizzard rep further said that “There isn’t a way to stop people from reporting this name, as some find the way the term is used offensive. If you get actioned again, you can appeal like this, and we can look at it once more.”
Standard WoW had a guild named Gay Boys as well, and something similar happened to it in 2016, as Ars notes. Then, a Blizzard rep said that the name could be interpreted as “being disingenuous and actually targeting homosexuals instead of being in support of,” and suggested a supportive name that was less likely to be misinterpreted.
We’ve asked Blizzard for comment and further clarification on its moderation and review policies, but did not receive an immediate response.