On Tuesday, XBox introduced a new set of “Community Standards” for online conduct. In other words, what counts as acceptable behaviour, and what isn’t. Though Microsoft already had conduct policies in place for the XBox Live, the new Standards document lets players know that some trash talk is okay – as long as they don’t cross the line.
Details on the New Standards
“A little trash talk is an expected part of competitive action, and that’s not a bad thing,” the document starts, tone casual. “But hate has no place here, and what’s not okay is when that trash talk turns into harassment.”
Microsoft defines trash talk as “lighthearted banter or bragging that focuses on the game at hand.” On the other hand, harassment is when a player gets personal, destructive or “likely to make someone feel unwelcome or unsafe.” Here are some of the examples listed out by Microsoft in the Standards document:
In other words, anything involving racial slurs, targeted vulgarities, sexual threats or calling for suicide count as harassment. Microsoft is taking a firm stand on this, too. Even if you’ve only sent one message that crosses the line, if it counts as harassment, you risk getting suspended.
Other Areas Included in the New Standards
Of course, Microsoft didn’t just add in new standards for trash talk. They also make it very clear that players should keep their posts and messages appropriate. Their examples of what counted as inappropriate included any content or pictures that include depictions of real-life violence, nudity or mature sexual content. The Standards also warn against stirring up political controversy, or naming a club after a controversial figure.
It’s nice that XBox set out guidelines that are so clear and easy to understand. Their intention of creating a better environment for players who game competitively online is admirable, too. Given how toxic people can get while riled up, it’s definitely a step in the right direction!