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Microsoft Becomes PC Police, Bans Offensive Language From Xbox And Skype

Xbox One.Marco Verch/Wikimedia

People swear. This is just a fact of life. They also like to share offensive material over the internet, whether as a joke or share something they found interesting with friends. Using Skype or Xbox consoles, however, this is no longer the case. Microsoft recently made sweeping changes that meant it will police the communications among users to make sure no one was saying bad words or sharing naughty pics.

According to the Summary of Changes to Microsoft Service Agreement, the new changes will take place at the start of May. One of the bigger shifts in focus for the company has to do with the Code of Conduct section where offensive language and content are no longer allowed.

“In the Code of Conduct section, we’ve clarified that use of offensive language and fraudulent activity is prohibited. 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,” the summary reads.

Now, some are taking this to mean that Microsoft is cracking down on trolls by limiting their tools of harassment on both platforms. However, many privacy experts are up in arms at the thought of their private conversations has a silent, ever-present shadow that is always listening to what they have to say.

The ambiguity in the terms is also a huge cause for concern because the term offensive can mean so many things to different people, Fortune notes. If someone got frustrated at an incompetent player during a game, for example, calling that person certain names could be enough to earn a ban.

The same goes for couples who might be conducting a sensual call because they are too far away from each other at that time. What if they use offensive language in a playful manner? These are just some of the misgivings that people have with regards to Microsoft deciding to become the PC police.

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December 14 15:00 UTC Released

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