Xbox is rolling out a barrage of changes to its community policy in a bid to end toxicity and cyber bullying on its platform.
Xbox chief Phil Spencer revealed the changes in a blog post – titled “Video games: A unifying force for the world“. The post outlines three steps that Team Xbox have formulated to safeguard gamers against toxicity and harassment within their own community.
Vigilant, proactive and swift, the Xbox Safety team – sorry, the “Defenders of Joy” – exist to identify instances of abuse and misuse on the platform and quash them before they become a bigger problem. Microsoft is actively working to expand the team to reflect a wider range of perspectives. This will allow the Defenders to identify potential safety concerns and solutions before they are reported.
The Community Standards recently underwent a major update and Microsoft appointed 150,000 Xbox Ambassadors – community leaders, stewards and allies – to embarks on “community missions” to create a safe and inviting environment for all users to enjoy.
The moves are designed to empower gamers to self-moderate their gaming experience. This includes introducing new content moderation controls for every Xbox Live user by the end of 2019. It will also be even easier for parents and guardians who might be unfamiliar with console and PC gaming to create a Child or Teen Account. These will let them manage their kids’ gaming life and limit who they can engage with, total screen time, content and spending.
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The gaming industry will also benefit from Microsoft’s safeguarding measures. Xbox have committed to openly sharing their safety innovations with others in the industry in much the safe way that Microsoft did with its PhotoDNA technology in its efforts to fight the spread of child pornography.
With the majority of gamers these days being adults and nearly half women, it is crucial that we reevaluate what we see when we read about toxicity in gaming and that we continue to consider how to protect those most vulnerable in the community.
To find out more about how Xbox bosses plan to keep you safe, visit the Microsoft Blog.