Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

World of Discrimination.

Blizzard Games, the maker of World of Warcraft, has cited a player for harassment for trying to recruit a GLBT-friendly guild.

Sara Andrews posted the following to a WoW forum, seeking members for a GLBT friendly guild.

"OZ [the name of her guild] is recruiting all levels ¦ We are not 'GLBT only,' but we are 'GLBT friendly'! ("

What she got back was a handful of rude and insensitive replies, followed by a citation by Blizzard for "Harassment - Sexual Orientation," which defined in the games' "Terms of Use" as "language which insultingly refers to any aspect of sexual orientation pertaining to themselves or other players."

In her email reply to Blizzard, Andrews explained that there was an obvious misunderstanding and that she was not insulting anyone, but merely recruiting for a "GLBT friendly" guild.

Blizzard's justification, in a response to an email to her, was, "we . . . feel that the advertisement of a 'GLBT friendly' guild is very likely to result in harassment for players that may not have existed otherwise."

In other words, Blizzard believes that she harassed herself and others by trying to create a GLBT-friendly guild that does not tolerate harassment against players based on their sexual orientation, simply because there is a possibility that by creating a GLBT friendly guild, there's a possibility that it *could* (not will) result in harassment.

I'm sorry, but this simply does not correspond to their definition of what constitutes this kind of harassment. It is in itself an act of harassment, in that it prevents players from creating guilds where they will not be harassed... and I'm not just saying this because I believe it is a horrible, officious, discriminatory policy. I'm saying it as someone who spent years overseeing LiveJournal's abuse policies, both interpreting *AND* creating the policies involved. It's bad policy and a misinterpretation of both the letter and the purpose of the policy involved, and I believe its up to the players to see to it that Blizzard changes their policy on this matter.

My advice? Existing guilds who give a crap should post to the forums protesting this policy, and declare themselves to be a GLBT friendly guild, supportive of all of their members, and opposed to discrimination based on sexual orientation. Individual players should post to the forums opposing this decision too, and declare themselves a GLBT friendly player, opposed to discrimination based on sexual orientation too.

In short, if Blizzard wants to cite one person for declaring themselves to be GLBT-friendly, let them cite a thousand. Make Blizzard deal with the flood of criticism and enforce their stupid policy. It's the least they can do, really.

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