Xbox Live adds text filters in latest effort to halt the hate

Microsoft has been working towards creating a more harmonious Xbox Live experience, free of the abusive behaviour and trolling of members.

Earlier this year, it outlined what it deemed to be acceptable trash talking, minus sexual threats, profanity, and racial slurs. Is that really too much to ask? Well, apparently it is, because Microsoft is now rolling out new tools, enabling users to deploy four new levels of text-based filters that could spare gamers of the worst language.

The filters are Friendly, Medium, Mature, and Unfiltered, with the first automatically hiding abusive messages from users. “This filter hides most things that could be offensive, while allowing for some words or phrases commonly used to refer to game play,” Microsoft says.

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Filtered messages under the Friendly setting will be labelled as “[Potentially offensive message hidden.]” requiring gamers to manually reveal them if they want to be exposed. Microsoft says children’s accounts will automatically be set to Friendly.

Meanwhile the Medium filter will let some vulgar words slip but will hide the harsher vulgarities and those messages identified as bullying.

Microsoft says the text filers are a first step towards a cleaner environment, but is also working towards has the goal of bleeping audio content during Xbox Live party sessions, at some point in the future.

Microsoft says in a blog post: “With such a large community of players with varying backgrounds from around the world, this diversity means that everyone has different levels of what language they are comfortable with while gaming. While the vast majority of communications are innocuous, some can make people uncomfortable – not all people interpret things in the same way, and even the same person can have different thresholds for what content is acceptable in different scenarios.”

The new settings are rolling out on Xbox One, Xbox Game Bar, the new Xbox App on Windows 10, and the Xbox Mobile app.

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