Over the last couple of days we have heard many reports of users having their Xbox Live account privileges revoked or limited, it took a while for people to narrow down why this was happening and now it looks like those users have been uploading videos full of swearing.
This limitation or banning of services effects a few features, including the ability to use services like Skype, but what on earth are Microsoft thinking, banning users like this you might ask? Easy, it is in the rules after-all.
There was a rumour going around the cursing in Skype calls was causing bans, but that is completely false and I think Microsoft are getting tired of telling people they don’t monitor Skype calls. However, Upload Studio videos do get monitors, or at least have the ability to be reported and if your uploading “excessive profanity, you’re going to get into trouble pretty quick.
As a person, I’m free to swear my little heart out, but Microsoft are working hard to create a family friendly environment and the terms of service require you play nice with this too. Lets take a quick look at Microsoft’s official statement on the matter:
“To be clear, the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement team does not monitor direct peer-to-peer communications like Skype chats and calls. Also, we take Code of Conduct moderation via Upload Studio very seriously. We want a clean, safe and fun environment for all users. Excessive profanity as well as other Code of Conduct violations will be enforced upon and result in suspension of some or all privileges on Xbox Live. We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members.”
It makes sense, however I think Microsoft would do well to integrate an age barrier that users can implement on their videos where explicit content may be common as not all of their users want that “family friendly” experience, because we all know how manic online gaming can get and the language the goes with it.
Microsoft have pushed a little hard here I think, but they’re obviously trying to set an example. I’m not sure if the bans are permanent, or timed, but an extra warning and removal of the videos may have been sufficient to prevent users from doing it again. Yet on the flip-side, Microsoft are not stupid and the Terms of Service are vague enough to warn against these things, so on technicalities they’re well within their rights to take action, even if we don’t like it.
- Do not create a Gamertag, profile content, Avatar action, Avatar content, or in-game content that other users may be offended by. This includes, without limitation, anything related to or suggestive of:
- Profane words/phrases
- Topics or content of a sexual nature
- Hate speech
- Illegal drugs/controlled substances
- Illegal activities
- Controversial religious topics
- Notorious people/organizations
- Sensitive current/historical events
- Any “sound alike” or “look alike” words, phrases, or puns that reference these topics are also prohibited
“in-game content” would be the part that relates to streamed and uploaded video content from the console. However, everyone’s definition of profane is different and Microsoft no doubt have to cast a very wide net to cover near global acceptance of certain words and phrases.
Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.