Consumers could lose money and games for using "offensive language" on Microsoft services as of May

Consumers could lose money and games for using "offensive language" on Microsoft services as of May

Games and software giant Microsoft is taking a stand against offensive language on its platforms moving forwards.

As spotted by Tom's Hardware, the big M has made changes to its Microsoft Services Agreement. These come into effect on May 1st, and prohibit the use of "offensive language". Those violating these terms across the likes of Xbox and Skype will have any account balance they have taken away from them, alongside content licenses.

Admittedly, that's pretty brutal, but fits the crime as online companies across the world attempt to combat human stupidity and toxicity on a massive scale.

What is meant by 'offensive language' isn't entirely clear - something that will no doubt be a point of contention when people protest their banned status - but suggests there could well be a human element to this whole process.

"In the Code of Conduct section, we’ve clarified that use of offensive language and fraudulent activity is prohibited," the new TOS read.

"We’ve also clarified that violation of the Code of Conduct through Xbox Services may result in suspensions or bans from participation in Xbox Services, including forfeiture of content licenses, Xbox Gold Membership time, and Microsoft account balances associated with the account.

"Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity)."

It's possible that this is part of - or at least running in tandem with - the Fair Play Alliance. Announced at GDC, Microsoft is a member of the organisation designed to clamp down on toxicity within video games

This is a pretty big effort right now, with the likes of Blizzard, Epic and Ubisoft stepping up their game to fight negative elements of their player bases. 

Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he was hired to launch for Steel Media before departing the firm in October 2019.

He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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