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Xbox Could Ban Players From Games They Purchased Under New “Hate Speech” and “Profanity” Strikes System

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

Xbox shakes up its disciplinary measures this week with the introduction of a new strike-based enforcement policy. While targeted at promoting clearer communication of its community standards and the penalties for not adhering to them, it is essential to explore the potential implications on free speech and the concept of censorship in the video game space – especially now that tech giants are banning people from the games that they’ve already paid for.

Xbox has revamped its mechanisms for maintaining speech control within its player community. The remodeled system assigns a strike for each violation of the Xbox community standards. The weight of this punishment translates directly from the severity of the infringement, The Verge reported.

So-called “hate speech,” “profanity,” and “harassment” are among the behaviors that could get players a strike.

Eight cumulative strikes equate to a one-year suspension on certain Xbox services including voice chat and multiplayer gaming. Dave McCarthy, Xbox player services corporate vice president clarified, “We didn’t have a way to show our players what their standing was in our community. And this makes it completely clear.”

Despite this development reeking heavily of systems aversive to free speech regarding games that they’ve paid for, Xbox is presenting this as striving to balance the scales between maintaining a welcoming and communal platform and dealing with “toxic” behaviors.

This is the latest in a line of measures following a transparency report and an overhaul of its community standards in 2019 that sought to curtail abusive and “disruptive” behavior on the platform.

“The more we can have our community standards spread out there, the more we can help people stand up for those in our community,” McCarthy emphasized.

Related: Trash talk once went hand-in-hand with gaming. But Big Tech is killing it.

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