Microsoft can ban you from their services if you use too much ‘offensive language’

Microsoft has updated its Microsoft Services Agreement yesterday with one of the new policies banning “offensive language” on it’s services. The new changes go into effect May 1st  and cover all Microsoft services including, Skype & Xbox Live. Or in other words, every service which requires you to login with an Microsoft Account in order to use MS own online services.


Blizzard already tried it in Word of Warcraft

Blizzard tried to do the same thing in World of Warcraft, but when they started getting over 2 Mio. tickets a day from people reporting each other – Blizzard suddenly realized how inadequate their customer support staff was and how much money they would lose from subscriptions by enforcing such policy.  Now you can say pretty much whatever you want and Blizzard only cares if your actions might affect their bottom line.

Other games have a similar function called under different name “toxic behavior”.

How does Microsoft monitors you?

It’s unclear how Microsoft monitors the accounts to ensure that no one uses ‘offensive language’, maybe it’s a keyword blacklist or they only review you if you’re reported – I don’t know. The problem here seems that people will report you if they don’t like you or you actions eg. while you’re good at a game which only results in useless reports.

What defines ‘offensive language’?

Another problem seems to be that it’s unclear what exactly offensive language means. Since no example was given I think it’s related to hate speech but that’s not clearly visible from the services agreement.

Final Words

Banning anyone for using offensive language is not the solution. I think that this system will not survive for long and MS will revert it soon or later, maybe it’s only cosmetically change to say ‘hey we did something against it!’ but at the end no one cares. What’s really shocking here that it’s unclear how Microsoft will monitor it and conspiracy theories lover already started the ‘spying’ argumentation once again without anything but the time will tell us more because I’m sure some free speech people not like what Microsoft did here.