PC games marketplace GOG.com just can’t keep itself free of social media scandals.
The CD Projekt subsidiary landed itself in hot water earlier this year, with a Postal 2 promotion tweet that veered dangerously into Gamergate territory.
Now, the site finds itself in trouble yet again - this time by hijacking a hashtag intended to support the transgender community.
#WontBeErased began trending following the apparent news that US President Donald Trump’s administration intended to tear down protections for transgender Americans.
But it looks like GOG’s social media team saw the hashtag trending and thought it’d make for a quick but ultimately insensitive joke - followed by a, seemingly, knowing wink.
The tweet was shortly removed, but not before countless screencaps began to circulate (below, courtesy of Twitter user @Angry_gr0bi).
In response, GOG released a post that more acknowledged its previous tweet, rather than apologising for it.
Yesterday, we posted a tweet containing a trending hashtag as a pun. The tweet was neither intended as a malicious attack, nor as a comment to the ongoing social debate.— GOG.COM (@GOGcom) October 23, 2018
GOG should focus only on games. We acknowledge that and we commit to it.
The acknowledgement fails to comment on why the tweet was seen as harmful to begin with. It merely offers a promise to “focus only on games” going forward.
This is also the second time in recent months CD Projekt has hit out at the transgender community, with the Cyberpunk 2077 social media account making a crass, transphobic “Did you just assume their gender joke" in response to a fan.
GOG’s managing director Piotr Karwowski previously apologised following its social media blunder back in July.
“I understand it might have left a sour taste but the important thing is there was never any intention behind this,” said Karwowski.
“I don't want to be the person who says 'I'm ashamed GOG did this' because if someone did it out of ill intentions, on purpose - they knew what this image meant - then that's a completely different story.
“To me, this is a really stupid mistake and that's it. We apologised for it and I think honestly that's okay.”
Eyes are on the storefront now to see if it will release a similar statement this time around - and to see if the company intends of taking action to sort out these poor-taste tweets going forwards.
Because as a transgender individual myself, I'm not feeling a burning urge to go on a GOG shopping spree.