Escapist News Now: Xbox One Users Banned For Swearing

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Xbox One Users Banned For Swearing

Over the weekend some users took to Reddit to spout their frustration for temporary bans they received on Xbox Live. The bans are associated with Upload Studio and Skype, and are received when users upload videos or have chats using what is being deemed "inappropriate content."

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sooo not big brother.... just a mother?

intresting way to moderate content....

"It's their platform and their rules, I guess...."

Yeah, that sums it up. It's dumb, but it is what we agreed to follow.

Well, 'we' in the general sense.

This is why i use the pc as my platform (amongst many other reasons) profanity is deeply ingrained in my age group's language, we use it like its not even swearing, its just everyday use at least amongst my peers. It's much like "darn" and "bugger" used to be considered profane back in the 50's.

Words and their useage change over time.

"It's their platform and their rules, I guess...."

Their rules are complete bullshit. When you pull off a kickass headshot and yell out, "Hot damn! That noob just got fucked up!" You should be able to upload that to your mostly private upload channel to share with your friends. This example is not abusive of anyone, nor does it reflect poorly on Microsoft or their community. They can take their kiddie corner and shove it. I'll take my five hundred dollars elsewhere.

Yeah, but that's a bit much. A ban for swearing is kind of insane. Maybe removing the functionality of online multiplayer communication or making it so the controller doesn't transmit to the microphone. There's got to be something in the software that enables that so it shouldn't be THAT much work to disable it for repeated violations.

Completely support this move by Microsoft (oh boy, did I never think I'd see myself say that). The integrated XBox Live ecosystem is neither an open, creative platform nor a forum for expressing outlying socio-political attitudes. It's a playground - and a very public one at that. Decorum should absolutely be exercised when interacting with others there and if not, it should be enforced, for the safety and comfort of the greater mass of participants. To be clear, I wholeheartedly oppose censorship in forums where private or artistic expression is the order of the day; where there is an implicit presumption of the author's prerogative to exercise their own judgement on the use of extreme language. Access to these sorts of platforms can, and should be filtered in a way which XBox Live simply cannot. In recent years Microsoft has been has been far too hands off, and the Greater Internet Fuckwad theory has led to it becoming toxic and unsafe (figuratively).

Your argument doesn't apply here. People are not being banned from playing deathmatch for cursing in deathmatch. They're being banned for cursing in their own video uploads of their own games. In fact, the part of your post that says, "I wholeheartedly oppose censorship..." is the only part that applies.

UnderGlass:
Completely support this move by Microsoft (oh boy, did I never think I'd see myself say that). The integrated XBox Live ecosystem is neither an open, creative platform nor a forum for expressing outlying socio-political attitudes. It's a playground - and a very public one at that. Decorum should absolutely be exercised when interacting with others there and if not, it should be enforced, for the safety and comfort of the greater mass of participants. To be clear, I wholeheartedly oppose censorship in forums where private or artistic expression is the order of the day; where there is an implicit presumption of the author's prerogative to exercise their own judgement on the use of extreme language. Access to these sorts of platforms can, and should be filtered in a way which XBox Live simply cannot. In recent years Microsoft has been has been far too hands off, and the Greater Internet Fuckwad theory has led to it becoming toxic and unsafe (figuratively).

flerchin:
"It's their platform and their rules, I guess...."

Their rules are complete bullshit. When you pull off a kickass headshot and yell out, "Hot damn! That noob just got fucked up!" You should be able to upload that to your mostly private upload channel to share with your friends. This example is not abusive of anyone, nor does it reflect poorly on Microsoft or their community. They can take their kiddie corner and shove it. I'll take my five hundred dollars elsewhere.

All they need to do is make it so you can check a box that says you upload adult content and then only allow others who accept adult content to interact with your videos, it really doesn't have to be this hard.

flerchin:
Your argument doesn't apply here. People are not being banned from playing deathmatch for cursing in deathmatch. They're being banned for cursing in their own video uploads of their own games. In fact, the part of your post that says, "I wholeheartedly oppose censorship..." is the only part that applies.

Sure it does, I know why they were temporarily banned and maintain that the move is justified. A bit harsh and clumsy given the lack of warning, sure, but as a clear statement of their attitude to profanity and/or abuse going forward I applaud it. The video uploads are associated with these people's Xbox Live account aren't they? And can be potentially shared in an uncontrolled way, via Microsoft's platform? I would argue that Microsoft's plan to unify all the services of the xbox in such a tight and integrated way entitles them to apply their terms and conditions across the board.

I'd also argue that, while swearing in your gameplay upload isn't inherently wrong, some of the people uploading them for others to watch are perhaps the ones who might need to learn some restraint for those multiplayer matches you mentioned. I have no moral objection to profanity myself but there are plenty of occasions and situations where I'd consider it bad form or vulgar to use it.

Eh really I'd have no problem with this. I mean yeah I'll get into the moment and sometimes a swear will slip out, but I honestly try not to swear much when playing online.
Now for true Draconian moderators just look at the Miiverse moderation, my word I've never seen mods(or machines) so quick to swing their ban hammer. I also remember Sony's PS3 chats would censor the stupidest things ever. XD

Microsoft, edging in on Nintendo's 10-and-under crowd (at the sake of the rest of their userbase) since 2013.

I don't agree with the rule, but I agree that they should be allowed to make the rule. They're making a product and should be able to include and enforce their standards. It's not oppressive to limit behavior in such a way, because consumers have the choice to buy their product. It's not any different than a restaurant having a dress code or a venue having a code of conduct. If you don't like it, don't take part in it. They've decided to create a certain environment and if you don't like it you have two options. Try to work with the xbox community and change the rule or don't buy an xbox.

While this is probably bad for a lot of people, I imagine justice has finally been served to about 90% of my Xbox live mute list assuming those people got an xbox one. Sweet, delicious chocolate justice crusted with crushed butterfinger bits, drizzled caramel, and creamy marshmallow atop a delicate cookie crust...

Who needs pr0n when you have news like this? Excuse me while I ask my PS4 to pass the lube.

Automating online content quality-control is a fantastic idea --on paper. Right now, I think it is only going to lead to confusion and frustration. While I agree with UnderGlass wholeheartedly, I do not believe that the accuracy of the XBone can reliably parse common speech from abusive language deserving of attenuated privileges.
/rant.

I totally understand that it is their platform and their rules. If they want to do this then go ahead.

However banning people for swearing seems a little excessive. I never swear at people, even if I'm arguing with them. I do however swear all the time in regular conversation. That's the environment I grew up in. The conversations I have with my parents are littered with F-bombs.

This may also push people away from streaming on the Xbox One. Look at the top YouTube channels - people like Pewdiepie and The Yogscast swear all the time. If you crack down on them, they'll just move to PC or PS4 and you'll lose a shit load of free advertising for your console and games.

In unrelated news, older cod fans rejoice at the sudden absence of prepubescent players.

Now the real question is how many people have so far been banned for 'Kinnect'ing" their junk?

Colt47:
While this is probably bad for a lot of people, I imagine justice has finally been served to about 90% of my Xbox live mute list assuming those people got an xbox one. Sweet, delicious chocolate justice crusted with crushed butterfinger bits, drizzled caramel, and creamy marshmallow atop a delicate cookie crust...

I am perfectly willing to cross you many, many times if this is the kind of justice I get served to me.

"The bans are associated with Upload Studio and Skype, and are received when users upload videos or have chats"

It's like everyone missed this part. This has nothing to do with games, parentally unsupervised 13 year olds or COD. It has everything to do with some really *weird* bans on what is essentially PG-13 content (if it's really just swearing).

Everyone remembers what Skype is, right? P2P, assumed-private-but-apparently-isn't communication? Why the everloving FUCK would they censor consenting video chat? What's the goddamn point if they can't actively blur out dicks/boobs/vaginas? And why in the fuck is Microsoft monitoring Skype calls?

The best part is, you KNOW some legitimate customers are going to get fucked by this. And they'll probably have very little recourse. And Microsoft gives no fucks.

I remember the days when AOL banned the word "Breast", which led to the inability of being able to discuss breast cancer (or support spending money for breast cancer research), and another update which banned the common misspelling of "dic" which led to people being unable to spell words like "ridiculous" or "dictator". Now that was insanity.

Fucking hell...

I'm so glad that I have a PC... from where I grew up I end up swearing as an adjective and verb so... I'd be fucked under such a draconian system.

Also, Draconian systems will result in people... migrating... to the not so draconian system... whats that other console out there? hmm...

I take no issue with the censoring of Upload Studio, because it could very easily become a terrible place otherwise.

I don't know about Skype, I mean is the ban just connected across from Upload Studio to block Skype as well?
I don't know, hopefully it's just a glitch.

Kudos to Microsoft in trying to enforce a more positive behavior in our gaming community. The way things have been last generation were terrible and acted as a barrier to entry for some gamers. Some people just want to play a game online and have fun. Not endure endless cursing, racism, homophobic commentary, etc.

I'm 100% against the idea of locking out Skype though for obvious reasons. It's an unrelated service provided by the system and for all we know could be the users only means of communication from time to time (unlikely but possible).

Even if we move past the absurdity of enforcing restrictions on foul language (the power of a word is in its meaning, not its spelling), this is a bad move because it functionally renders one of the major "draws" of the system as inferior to one of, if not both, its primary competitors.

They are trying to unify multiple entertainment experiences into one system. But to pull that off, they have to convince the consumer to start at the Xbox. They have to want to use it because its easier and/or better. If its just plain easier to do it on your PC without worry about the censors locking you out of online access in the first place, they are just going to make their own hub seem a joke.

If they had any idea how to interact with this generation, they would simply put on age/filter locks on that content, not ban the uploaders. That way, people who want to be protected from the big nasty words can be, and those that don't care won't feel like MS Mom is going to nag them every 5 seconds.

Ubiquity is what wins in the online space, and you achieve that through offering freedom (at least the appearance of it).

couldn't we swear by not using swears? like "you mother licker" or "Gluttonous homosexual"

It's against Live rules to curse in voicechat in game, why the hell would anyone think uploading video of gameplay with cursing is going to fly? The Skype thing is a big no no, though. If you don't monitor skype then there should be zero bans for behavior in a skype chat. None.

Remember back with their old plans how a ban would mean you couldn't play any of the games you had bought? Ever again?

Be very glad that didn't happen.

UnderGlass:
Completely support this move by Microsoft (oh boy, did I never think I'd see myself say that). The integrated XBox Live ecosystem is neither an open, creative platform nor a forum for expressing outlying socio-political attitudes. It's a playground - and a very public one at that. Decorum should absolutely be exercised when interacting with others there and if not, it should be enforced, for the safety and comfort of the greater mass of participants. To be clear, I wholeheartedly oppose censorship in forums where private or artistic expression is the order of the day; where there is an implicit presumption of the author's prerogative to exercise their own judgement on the use of extreme language. Access to these sorts of platforms can, and should be filtered in a way which XBox Live simply cannot. In recent years Microsoft has been has been far too hands off, and the Greater Internet Fuckwad theory has led to it becoming toxic and unsafe (figuratively).

You do realise they are banning people for 1 to 1 Skype calls as well right? something they should not even be monitoring anyway.

Kumagawa Misogi:

UnderGlass:
Completely support this move by Microsoft (oh boy, did I never think I'd see myself say that). The integrated XBox Live ecosystem is neither an open, creative platform nor a forum for expressing outlying socio-political attitudes. It's a playground - and a very public one at that. Decorum should absolutely be exercised when interacting with others there and if not, it should be enforced, for the safety and comfort of the greater mass of participants. To be clear, I wholeheartedly oppose censorship in forums where private or artistic expression is the order of the day; where there is an implicit presumption of the author's prerogative to exercise their own judgement on the use of extreme language. Access to these sorts of platforms can, and should be filtered in a way which XBox Live simply cannot. In recent years Microsoft has been has been far too hands off, and the Greater Internet Fuckwad theory has led to it becoming toxic and unsafe (figuratively).

You do realise they are banning people for 1 to 1 Skype calls as well right? something they should not even be monitoring anyway.

Except Microsoft released a statement denying that and there's no real evidence beyond rumour (read: someone once posted it on a forum on the internet! It must be true!).

That said, I do support in the interest of serious journalism, 2 escapist writers having a ten minute swearing marathon over the Xbone Skype in the interests of testing whether its true or not. Debunking rumour from fact is an important part of a free press. Even if its not an especially dignified one.

Daily reminder that your medium belongs to children.

I like it. I'm glad Microsoft is moderating content that comes from their systems. Gaming culture needs to step it up if we want to be taken seriously and I think this is a step in the right direction. There are times when swearing is appropriate and even tasteful, there are times when it's pointless, and there are times when it is just damn offensive. If this puts a plug in the hateful filth flinging pie holes or toxic gamers and doesn't impede on normal gamers' ability to speak their mind then it's a solid win in my books. Obviously the moderation system will need to be updated and tweaked a bit until it runs as intended. And maybe, just maybe, some gamers will have to tone down their language (may the gods forbid) and learn how to be respectful in public.

It's not the end of the world or even all that controlling. Within a few years time nobody will remember or care that Microsoft started moderating what people post.

Cybylt:
In unrelated news, older cod fans rejoice at the sudden absence of prepubescent players.

That's bullshit, because that demographic hasn't played CoD since United Offensive.

I can understand trying to make a better environment for people to play in, but this doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. How far do these rules apply? They seem to be implying that, when possible, people will be punished for swearing no matter the context. Does this apply to Mature-rated games where the characters in-game are cursing just as much? And the Skype bans are bullshit. They are either bullshit in that the reports are made up, or they are bullshit in that Microsoft is trying to censor private conversations which is downright Orwellian.

If someone dislikes the language used in a video that they aren't being forced to view, then they could just stop watching it?

Step 1 add a mute option for every game (like counter strike)
Step 2 make the games good enough so that people will want to host their own servers, that way people can just go and find servers which enforces civilized communication.
Step 3 stop reading or lisening to things that offends you.

I could uderstand the banning if the users had purposely been harassing people. Why not add a rating system and other functions so that videos containing "inappropriate" language don't end up as something that would be encountered unless searched for.

Shielding people from all forms of rude, harsh and unforgiving use of a language is not the way to go. "Oh buhu.. I got offended by what someone said in a video that I chose to watch".

Gregory Wollf:
I like it. I'm glad Microsoft is moderating content that comes from their systems.

Er... no, actually, moderating is what they're not doing. The root word here is moderate, aka, "kept or keeping within reasonable or proper limits; not extreme, excessive, or intense: a moderate price." "Moderating" content would be what other people have suggested in this thread and on forums around the net: use your XBL profiles' ages to determine what content that account can and cannot access. If someone uploads a video, they can use tags or the upload form to indicate the video has swearing (which would age gate it to over 13s) or intense violence/sexual references/whatever else (which would age gate it to over 18s). "Moderating" would be then checking to make sure the videos uploaded conform to the categories in which they've been put, and you'd be able to let children game "in safety" without ham-handedly censoring adults at the same time.

Because that's what it is; censorship. They are not moderating, because the approach they're taking is nonsensical, illogical and extreme. They're censoring all content, apparently unaware of their ability to simply make age gates, like most content providers in the last 40 years. What you are supporting is blanket censorship of every piece of content in lieu of an actual sensible response to the issue. Are you really okay with that?

Gaming culture needs to step it up if we want to be taken seriously

Yes, because speaking English and using common English-language words and euphemisms makes us less worthy of being taken seriously. Remember when books, movies and music had to blanket censor all their content, banning every person who made a book, movie or song with adult language or themes, to be accessible to the 10-and-under crowd in order to be accepted as a medium?

Oh... wait. They didn't. Because that would have been fucking retarded.

They simply put a labeling system on their media, warning consumers on the front of the DVD case or CD cover what they can expect as far as adult language. Sort of what rational people expected Microsoft to do here. (And, as an amusing aside, most books don't even have that; you're just expected to know what it contains before passing it off to children. Microsoft should clearly start banning books).

and I think this is a step in the right direction. There are times when swearing is appropriate and even tasteful

And that time is absolutely never, according to Microsoft, apparently unaware that great art from theatre to music to novels have had swearing for longer than they've even been a company.

The problem here is that you're attempting to apply "moderate" logic to a situation in which no moderation is present; Microsoft is blanket censoring all content regardless of anything, and you're trying to defend it with things like "there are times when swearing is appropriate and even tasteful..." apparently unaware that Microsoft is banning it ENTIRELY, so even those times when it is appropriate and tasteful are liable to be punished.

Protecting kids is obviously an important thing. But the market isn't about children. It's not the 80s anymore; 10-and-unders aren't the primary demographic. I would think this is painfully obvious given the biggest console franchises being stuff like Medal of Gears of Calladoody: The Dudebro Edition: This Time With A Dog. It's alright if the companies take steps to protect the children playing, with parental controls and age gates to block off adult content. That's *fine*. But it's not fine when they punish the entire userbase for an absolutely pants on head retarded decision to blanket ban all adult content because they're too incompetent to make any kind of an age gate. And that's what Microsoft is doing here. And that's what you're supporting.

Are you really okay with that?

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