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Xbox updates community standards to tackle toxicity and harassment

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There’s a perception that in-game chat in gaming, especially on Xbox, is rife with trash talk, racist and sexist nonsense and 12-year olds who’ll detail their carnal experience with your mum. That perception largely exists because it’s goddamned true. Now, Microsoft wants to change that.

They’ve updated their Xbox community standards guidelines to help combat the scourge of toxicity and harassment on the platform. The guidelines don’t suggest people do away with trash talk, they just think people could do so in a way that doesn’t hurt others.

“The spirit of Xbox lives in our values, which are key to sustaining a vibrant and welcoming community. Living these values every time we play shows the world the unifying power of gaming.” Said key values include things like the oft-repeated mantra “Hate has no place here.”

They’ve even suggested “acceptable” 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.

They’ve also supplied a list of what going to far looks like:

  • 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.

Of course, the updated guidelines aren’t just about policing how you behave online. There are also definitely fraudulent activities that Microsoft suggests you don’t do:

  • Give another person access to your Microsoft account
  • Sell or attempt to sell your gamertag or account to someone else
  • Sell in-game content outside of official in-game mechanisms and stores
  • Trade game lessons for Xbox gift cards or other compensation
  • Buy a game from an unauthorized seller
  • Share ways to fraudulently get Xbox Live Gold subscription codes for free
  • Try to get out-of-policy refunds or compensation from Xbox support
  • Give other players the impression that you’re a Microsoft employee
  • Pretend to be an employee of a game developer
  • Intentionally represent yourself as a player other than yourself to cause drama
  • Charge another player to help them complete a level in a game

There’s a lot more to the guidelines,, tackling things like cheating in games, piracy, using the Xbox creation tools to make wholesome content and a bunch of other stuff that really all boils down to one thing: Don’t be a dick. You can read the full set of standards here.

Last Updated: May 2, 2019

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