Blizzard Deleting 'Inappropriate' StarCraft 2 Maps

Blizzard is apparently deleting user-made maps developed for StarCraft II that the company deems "inappropriate."

The revelation started with this post on the forums, as a StarCraft II player--listed as Cyrileo-- reported that his map Ultimate Tank Defense was deleted due to inappropriate content. Apparently the company didn't actually specify the offending material, thus sparking a rant about how long it took to be informed about the deletion once it was done, or given the option to make a quick fix if the deletion was based on his use of the term "bad ass" within the map.

Community Manager Bashiok eventually stepped in and pointed to the StarCraft II Inappropriate Content Policy Overview. "You're confusing our removal of inappropriate content with some draconian measure to delete maps as we see fit," he said, referring to the negative comments about removing the map. "Our goal is purely to ensure that maps don't contain inappropriate content. Keeping people from seeing your hate speech and obscene images on our private game service is not the same as relinquishing your constitutional freedoms in the hopes of increased personal/familial security."

He later explained that words used in the campaign are not things the company is going to action for. "The map that was removed, and for which this thread exists, WAS NOT removed for using the words 'bad ass'," he admitted. "But we're not going to publicly release why or for what reasons we do remove maps. If the map maker receives that information and chooses to do so, then so be it. That's their discretion. We're working on improving our processes to ensure the map maker has more information on why their map was removed, right now it is a bit vague and has obviously led to this misunderstanding."

Eventually it was revealed that unit movement patterns accidentally formed a "certain anti-Semite symbol" on a minimap within Ultimate Take Defense. "This was unintentional and we have since changed the way the units path (you'll notice the spiffy new terrain)," said one of the map's creators, Brashnard. "We would've liked a bit of a warning before the map was deleted, however."

Blizzard's policy states that map makers will be given a warning first and time to make changes. If the offensive material remains, he/she will be temporarily suspended. After a final warning, further violations will evoke a permanent suspension. Accounts will be closed in "extreme" cases.

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  • LePhuronn
    "certain anti-Semite symbol"

    Swastika. Go on, say it. It's not hard. Or is merely saying "swastika" anti-Semitic these days?

    Besides, it's only a "Nazi swastika" if you rotate 45 degrees anti-clockwise, otherwise it's a perfectly harmless Eastern symbol denoting something or somebody lucky or auspicious.

    I bet if you called it a Tetra-Gammadion nobody would have a problem.
  • Vampyrbyte
    This is precisely the problem with what is the current rules applied to 'Freedom of expression.' You are fine to express yourself, not as long as you don't offend anyone else, but as long as what you are expressing fits the current social and moral norm.
    The whole basis for our 'free' society falls apart as soon as people start doing this kind of thing. Who gets to choose what is wrong and right for us to express ourselves about. You are allowed to be wHomosexual, but not Homophobic. Multiculturalist but not Xenophobic, Capitalist not Communist.
    You can be whatever you want to be, but you must be what your masters want.
  • swamprat
    I wouldn't describe a Swastika as anti-semitic personally; if you assume that it's use is pro-nazi (possibly a bit of a push) then anti-semitism might be one of many implications, it seems a bit of a jump though, why not call it anti-gypsie or something? They might have had a problem with German law if they'd left it in, but I doubt even that would go quite that far. Maybe the UK 'slippery road' sign should be changed too, just in case someone finds it offensive (squint a bit at it and you should be able to see).

    That said, people whine quite easily so the company is probably just pandering to the masses.