During a New York Times podcast interview on Monday, Phil Spencer, the Executive Vice President of Xbox for Microsoft, made an open proposal to implement a cross-platform ban program for wrongdoers. In the podcast, he mentioned how he thinks a player should be blocked on all platforms if they are banned from one. For this program to work, other platforms like PlayStation and Nintendo will need to agree to implement a global ban on said player.
He also mentioned how Xbox live’s chat service is only for entertainment and game talk. Any attempts at political talks are discouraged and can also lead to a ban. Spencer’s statements and vision are quite progressive where he believes that a player should only focus on having fun on Xbox Live.
While speaking to The New York Times’ Kara Swisher, he explained that Xbox Live is not a social network similar to Facebook and Twitter. Spencer spoke about how Microsoft sees Xbox Live as “not a free speech platform” but one built on interactive entertainment. He believes controversy and confrontation-driven user engagement would be “a death strategy” for their business.
“This is a hard one as an industry, when somebody gets banned in one of our networks, is there a way for us to ban them across other networks? Or at least as a player, for me to be able to bring my banned user list, because I can always block people from my play” Spencer said. He added “It’s very difficult to come to Xbox Live and say, ‘OK, I want to go create a political party on the platform. It’s really set up for community around interactive entertainment and the games that run on our platform.”
Players using racial slurs, communicating physical threats, insulting someone’s gender, sexuality, or national origin are all at risk of getting banned. Microsoft recently bought a company that built an automated moderation toolkit for the Xbox Live uses. If they implement the cross-platform ban, it will be a big step towards having a non-toxic community.