Trolls, beware. Microsoft have just updated their Community Standards for Xbox to emphasise that hate and harassment won’t be tolerated.
Harassment is defined by Microsoft as: “any negative behaviour that’s personalised, disruptive, or likely to make someone feel unwelcome or unsafe. To qualify as harassment, the behaviour doesn’t have to be drawn-out or persistent. Even a single abusive message could harm someone’s experience. Know when to draw the line, when to back off. Know and respect the other player.”
“To make Xbox Live a place where everyone can hang out, and to prevent people from feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome, we all need to be stewards,” Microsoft said. “This means more than just not harassing other players–it means embracing them. It means saving those unsavoury jokes for people you know will enjoy them. It means taking particular care for others while you play, keeping in mind how they might interpret your content.”
In case it’s not clear enough, Microsoft have kindly provided some examples of what could lead to restrictions, temporary suspension, and ultimately a ban:
- Get <sexual threat>. Can’t believe you thought you were on my level.
- Hey <profanity>, that was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked, trash.
- Only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. KYS, kid.
- Cheap win. Totally expected from a <racial slur>.
- You suck. Get out of my country–maybe they’ll let you back in when your k/d’s over 1.
To stay on the safe side, you want to get on board with some of Microsoft’s suggested trash talk:
- Get destroyed. Can’t believe you thought you were on my level.
- That was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked.
- Only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. Try again, kid.
- Cheap win. Come at me when you can actually drive without running cars off the road.
- That sucked. Get good and then come back when your k/d’s over 1.
Inevitably, there will be those who choose to ignore the guidelines. The first time, you’ll most likely get away with a brief suspension, “we know people make mistakes, and we believe lapses in judgement can be significant opportunities for growth,” the company said. This includes restricted access to playing games online, sending messages, communicating over voice chat and broadcasting gameplay.
Repeated offenders won’t get off so easily, “we may permanently suspend a profile or device if we can no longer trust it due to a severe violation, or if our attempts to correct repeated negative behaviours are unsuccessful,” Microsoft says.
If you’re still not sure what you can and can’t say, read the guidelines here.