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Xbox unveils strike-based system to enforce community standards

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To bolster transparency and protect the community, Xbox is introducing a novel strike-based enforcement initiative where users can get banned from using Xbox services for a year after accumulating eight strikes.

This system minimises players’ confusion regarding enforcement actions taken against their accounts while offering a clear view of their standing within the Xbox community.

Dave McCarthy, Corporate Vice President of Xbox Player Services, explained the new enforcement strategy in an interview with The Verge. McCarthy explained that the system’s primary objective is to enhance player transparency.

“We didn’t have a way to show our players their standing in our community. And this makes it completely clear,” said McCarthy.

The system assigns strikes to players who violate Xbox’s community standards. The severity of the violation determines the number of strikes and the duration of the resulting penalty. If a player accumulates eight strikes, their account will be banned from using Xbox services like voice chat or multiplayer for a full year. The strike program commences today, with all players starting afresh without any pre-existing strikes.

According to McCarthy, only around one per cent of the Xbox player base faces enforcement actions, and only a third of that one per cent incurs additional enforcement measures. Before introducing this standardised program, players often struggled to comprehend the rationale behind the varying suspension durations.

The new enforcement policy of Xbox with a maximum suspension length of 365 days. | Source: Xbox

The new enforcement system provides players with a clear grasp of the severity of their inactions and the cumulative impact of multiple enforcement actions. Although Xbox won’t publicly disclose a detailed list of infractions and corresponding strikes, the official announcement features a graphic offering insights into how strikes escalate based on behaviour. The graphic outlines, for instance, that profanity leads to one strike, while hate speech results in three.

The program also outlines the appeals process and strike decay. Players can submit appeals, and the applied strikes will be removed upon a successful outcome. Furthermore, strikes automatically expire after six months.

This new initiative build upon Xbox’s ongoing commitment to fostering an inclusive and safe gaming environment. The company has previously updated its community standards, released transparency reports, and introduced features like voice clip submissions for moderation. The strike-based enforcement program is another step toward creating a healthier player community where safety and respect are paramount.

McCarthy encouraged players to actively engage in the enforcement process by reporting inappropriate behaviour, even if it isn’t directed at them, as community involvement plays a pivotal role in upholding the platform’s standards.

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

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: [email protected]