Update to Xbox LIVE Code of Conduct; Gamertag Profiles to be More Personal

Update to Xbox LIVE Code of Conduct; Gamertag Profiles to be More Personal


In a letter from Microsoft’s Marc Whitten to the Xbox LIVE community, the executive pointed out that Microsoft will now allow consumers to post identifying information regarding race, ethnicity, religious background, and even sexual orientation in their Gamertag profiles.

Previously, Microsoft banned the inclusion of such identifying terminology, as they feared the inclusion of the information would lead to rampant misuse and offensive behavior.

While the sentiment was appreciated by most Xbox LIVE users, it was also seen as a flawed policy because people overwhelming want to express themselves via their Avatar and Gamertag in all relevant ways.
Along those lines, Microsoft has decided to change their policy and allow consumers to express themselves in an effort to embrace the diversity of the community.

Below you’ll find the entire letter that was published today, March 5, 2010.  Pay special attention to the last two paragraphs.

Letter from Marc Whitten:

Dear Xbox LIVE members,

Since the beginning, Microsoft has made an investment in the security and safety of Xbox LIVE and created tools and monitoring practices to ensure it is a fun and welcoming entertainment experience for people of all races, nationalities, religions and sexual orientations. And thanks to this investment and the enthusiasm of community members like you, we’re proud to be the strongest and most diverse online community of its kind at 23 million.

The Xbox LIVE Terms of Use and Code of Conduct are designed to create a place where people can safely enjoy all of the ways to interact on our service, be it online multiplayer gaming, photo sharing, Netflix parties, or social games such as 1 vs 100, without fear of discrimination or harassment. As the service evolves and our customers provide us with feedback, these rules evolve to incorporate new features or changes in how people wish to interact.

With that in mind, I’d like to announce an update to the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use and Code of Conduct which will allow our members to more freely express their race, nationality, religion and sexual orientation in Gamertags and profiles. Under our previous policy, some of these expressions of self-identification were not allowed in Gamertags or profiles to prevent the use of these terms as insults or slurs. However we have since heard feedback from our customers that while the spirit of this approach was genuine, it inadvertently excluded a part of our Xbox LIVE community. This update also comes hand-in-hand with increased stringency and enforcement to prevent the misuse of these terms.

I truly believe that our diversity is what makes us strong: diversity in gaming and entertainment options, and diversity in the people that make up this amazing community. I look forward to seeing you on LIVE soon.

Jump in,

Marc Whitten
Gamertag – Notwen

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