GOG.com Co-Opts Transgender Awareness Hashtag to Sell Games (Update)

Update: GOG has now commented on the tweet, saying that it “should focus only on games.” Read the company’s statement here.

Original Story: CD Projekt‘s GOG.com has co-opted real-world issues to sell video games. In a now-deleted tweet, the online game store abused the transgender awareness #WontBeErased hashtag. This latest tweet from CD Projekt social media follows a similar trend from the August tweet that put the Cyberpunk 2077 developer in hot water.

Twitter user Angry_Gr0bi noticed the tweet from GOG.com’s social media account Monday evening. The deleted tweet said, “classic PC games #WontBeErased on our watch. Yeah, how’s that for some use of hashtags.”

GOG.com tweet in question.

The hashtag has quickly grown over the past day or two since a New York Times story broke news that the Trump Administration is trying to redefine transgender identities out of existence. The Department of Health and Humans Services is attempting to redefine gender as a “biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.” These changes would rollback Obama-era Title IX updates that were put in place to protect transgender individuals from discrimination.

Per the New York Times, “the new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into.”

The hashtag arose as a way to protest the suggested changes coming from the Trump Administration. Rallies and protests have cropped up across the United States in the wake of the story as people learn about the proposed rollback.

The last line of the GOG.com tweet is especially egregious for a company that has come under fire for similar callousness in the past. Critics have called out its mocking tone and said it belittles the very real issues facing members of the transgender community. Some users are giving GOG’s social media managers the benefit of the doubt, saying that it might just be in bad taste, but it follows a pattern of other tone deaf tweets from CD Projekt brands.

This latest tweet follows an August 2018 tweet from the Cyberpunk 2077 account that made a transphobic joke in a response to a Twitter user. An apology was issued a day later, it said, “sorry to all those offended by one of the responses sent out from our account earlier. Harming anyone was never our intention.”

Another tweet from the GOG account came in July under fire for a GamerGate reference. That tweet was promoting Postal 2 with a GIF that depicted someone urinating on “Games Journalism” tombstone. The tombstone referenced an article that incensed the GamerGate movement.