November 26th 2013
Xbox One games console users caught swearing in video clips will have their accounts suspended, according to Microsoft.
Videos containing "excessive profanity" will be removed and their owners' access to some user features on Xbox Live will be disallowed.
All files uploaded to Microsoft's Upload Studio are monitored for compliance to its code of conduct, the company says, in order to help mainatin a clean, safe and fun environment for everyone. Skype chats and calls are not monitored by the Xbox Live enforcement team.
Xbox Live was available on previous Microsoft game consoles, but the new Xbox One – which was lauched in the UK last Friday – has a more sophisticated system of enforcement. The feature enables users to upload media files – including videos they have made – as well as taking part in multiplayer games
Responses on gaming forums have been varied:
"I question the validity of this, but the average gamer is 32. I don't mind hearing someone saying it. Free speech"
"Game uploads get sent to everyone. You see them when you browse a game etc. There has to be some control and moderation. Your private conversations are not censored or moderated. Only what you share with the public which includes little kids."
Keza MacDonald, UK Games Editor at online games magazine IGN.com, told the BBC that new features on the latest consoles presented challenges for companies. "What's happening with the new generation of gaming consoles is that they are increasingly incorporating social network-like features – there's a lot more sharing and communication between players, which means more potential for abuse of the terms of service." She continued: "Both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have robust parental controls, but those don't apply to content or video that players are uploading and sharing themselves. "For this reason both Microsoft and Sony are strongly enforcing the terms of service… which is especially important when these consoles are in people's living rooms."
Users of Sony's PlayStation 4, which will go on sale in the UK this Friday, could also be banned if they fail to adhere to the terms of service. On Saturday, a PS4 owner abroad was banned after he used the system to display his partner, who was apparently unconscious, naked on camera.