Microsoft has faced intense criticism after banning a lady gamer for mentioning her sexual orientation in her profile on Xbox Live.
Previously, Microsoft has attempted to purge Xbox Live of any content potentially offensive by way of some stringent terms of service, which resulted in blanket bans on words like “gay”, even in one case where it was part of a surname, in the case of “Richard Gaywood”.
In this case, a lady who insisted on revealing her sexual interests in her profile was banned for her trouble, as well as being harassed by other players, prompting much criticism of Microsoft’s controversy shy approach to managing the service.
The clause in question is thorough in eliminating any possible source of controversy:
You agree that we may also discontinue your access to the Service if you do any of the following while connected to the Service: create a Gamertag , avatar or use text in other profile fields that may offend other members.
This includes comments that look, sound like, stand for, hint at, abbreviate, or insinuate or relate to any of the following: profane words/phrases, topics or content of a sexual nature, hate speech (including but not limited to racial, ethnic, or religious slurs), illegal drugs/controlled substances, or illegal activities.
Foremost in Microsoft’s mind is probably the prospect of having their US marketing efforts stymied by accusations of harbouring perverts and atheists intent on poisoning the minds of the children.
According to the accounts of most, the children generally also poison the minds of those forced into contact with them, with profanity and juvenile antics, though of course the adult players are hardly any better. Others doubt whether Xbox Live is even a “safe” place for children in any case.
Profanity and worse being rife, Microsoft understandably does nothing about it.
Of course, some are mystified as to why some people feel the need to share the details of their sexual preferences with complete strangers at every opportunity…