Microsoft Punishes Xbox Gamers Over Dirty Words

Bad language leads to temporary bans

Watch your language while gaming with Microsoft. Today, the company had to admit to punishing Xbox One owners who cursed in videos posted on the platform.

The new Xbox One went on sale last week, moving more than 1 million units, the first new video game console in almost a decade.

Some gamers started complaining, however, when they got banned from Internet-connected activities through Xbox Live accounts—including the ability to upload videos to share clips and commentary from their games.

If users curse in video comments they run the risk of getting blocked, which some participants say they found out without warning, according to Xbox message boards where members vented frustration.

The gaming community is not known for civility. Strangers can play from around the world thanks to the Web, and they can talk via headsets or text messaging—communications that can sometimes be caustic.

The Upload Studio censorship could be Microsoft’s attempts to combat vitriol on its new platform, but the temporary bans to users raised concerns that the company could implement similar blocks in its other services, such as Skype.

In a statement today, Microsoft distinguished between moderating areas of Xbox Live and its policies regarding Skype. The company said it does not monitor “peer-to-peer” calls through Skype, in a statement to TechCrunch.

It did, however, confirm suspensions over conduct violations in Upload Studio.