The banhammer is coming.
Microsoft is slowly exercising its zero tolerance policy with regards to Xbox One users, but in doing so they might be going to far. Over the past weekend, several reports have surfaced with regards to player bans on both Xbox One and PS4, and most stem from each console’s video upload and streaming services.
While the PS4 side of the issue is one that we’d rather not discuss here, the Xbox One bans have caught our eye. Not just the existence of them, but the reason for them as well.
While we have yet to experience the issue, many gamers are reporting a loss of features, namely Skype, on their Xbox One. And, when inquiring about the reason for that loss, the gamers have discovered their Xbox Live Gold status suspended.
Although it might differ from case to case, it appears the main culprit for these bans/suspensions has been an excessive use of profanity in uploaded videos. Microsoft confirmed the reasoning in an official statement earlier today:
“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.”
In other words, a few curse words here and there in a video are fine, but it’s best to refrain from foul language when possible to avoid losing access to commonly used apps. Microsoft’s goal in the suspending Gold accounts is to shut off Upload Studio and Game DVR use, but other features (Netflix, Online Multiplayer, etc.) will also be affected.
Obviously, Microsoft is issuing these bans in the hopes of promoting a clean environment for gamers of all ages, but they are also entering a sticky situation. Choosing to suspend Gold accounts for profanity use does violate the new Xbox One Code of Conduct, but it’s hard to reason what’s excessive versus what is a tolerable amount.
For that matter, what about the M-rated games players are streaming? Does the profanity contained within those games count?
Whatever the case may be, the Xbox One has only been out for a few days — but it has shipped 1 million units worldwide — so policies and procedures are likely still being ironed out. The use of profanity, even on an M-rated game, is a complicated issue. For now, however, it’s probably a better course of action to avoid profanity, until this issue gets some much-needed investigation.
Have you been suspended for your Xbox One uploads? How do you feel about Microsoft issuing suspensions for excessive profanity?
Microsoft’s Xbox One is available now.