Phil Spencer Pledges to Clean Up Xbox Live: “It Is Not a Free Speech Platform”


The FPS Review
Staff member
May 6, 2019
Hate and harassment on Xbox Live is evidently growing. In a blog post about gaming being a hobby that everyone should be able to enjoy, Xbox head Phil Spencer mentioned he was cracking down on hate speech, bigotry, and misogyny.

“I’ve been public before,” Spencer told me. “Xbox Live is not a free speech platform. It is not a place where anybody can come and say anything. And as we’re working to ensure it’s a safe and inclusive environment for everybody, I don’t want to be opaque about it. I want to be out there front and center so that you understand our motivation.”

To achieve that goal, the Xbox team is doubling down on content moderation. Spencer mentioned that community managers would be given new tools to create "safe places."

We believe in equipping you with the tools to customize your gaming experience fit for your personal comfort level. This summer, we are empowering our official Club community managers with proactive content moderation features that will help create safe spaces for fans to discuss their favorite games. We plan to roll out new content moderation experiences to everyone on Xbox Live by the end of 2019.

Spencer also hinted at an evolution of the parental control system, which allows users to filter content, set screen time limits, and prevent unauthorized spending.

Today we have parental controls, but we looked at our parental controls system and said, “Why can’t everybody use them?” Why are parental controls and this idea of, as a parent I have a child account and I can kind of mandate screen time and spending limits and what kind of content I see—why can’t anybody on their own account go and set that? We have a roadmap of us continuing to build that out, and some of this is us looking at some of the constructs we had under the child accounts. We want to blow that out a bit and really let anybody put those kinds of constructs on their account.
I’m not going back to using an XBox and more than willing to not buy a PS5 if they follow the same tack. People wonder why gamers trust Steam and Valve so much; it’s precisely in moments like these, when out of touch Execs start touting vague phrases like “safe and inclusive”, that I realized Valve’s lack of ambition as a publisher is a huge boon to the consumer.
It's not the worst idea out there and is even a decent feature, but if the reason to include it is for more "safe spaces" I don't think that's something we need any more of.
Sounds like a slippery slope to me. I won't be investing in a Xbox.
All of these "Empowered" 10 year olds freely calling me the "N" word in conjunction with insisting that I am their female dog .. NEED TO BE STOPPED!!!
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