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Microsoft bans ‘offensive’ language on Skype, Xbox, others – monitors private accounts

A video game controller (Free Use/Max Pixel)
March 29, 2018

Microsoft announced earlier this month that it is making changes to its service agreement that would ban accounts that use offensive language, as well as investigate users’ private data.

The service agreement update, which goes into effect May 1, will prevent users from using offensive language and inappropriate content.

“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),” Microsoft said in the new update.

“When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue,” the update added.

The new update seems to target Xbox users where offensive language is often used, making those who use it more susceptible to being banned.

“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,” Microsoft said in a summary of the new changes.

People online are already speaking out against the new update, questioning Microsoft’s invasion of privacy and free speech.

“I can’t use Skype to have an adult video call with my girlfriend? I can’t use OneDrive to back up a document that says ‘fu*k’ in it? If I call someone a mean name in Xbox Live, not only will they cancel my account, but also confiscate any funds I’ve deposited in my account?” civil rights activist Jonathan Corbett wrote in a blog post.

Xbox’s Mike Ybarra wrote on Twitter that there is no policy change for Xbox Live.

Mike Ybarra (Twitter)

“We are committed to providing our customers with safe and secure experiences while using our services. The recent changes to the Microsoft Service Agreement’s Code of Conduct provide transparency on how we respond to customer reports of inappropriate public content,” Microsoft said in a statement.