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Major Nelson Talks GLAAD, Xbox LIVE Policy

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Major Nelson threw up a new podcast yesterday, and in addition to the usual friendly Maj shtick he devoted a good chunk of time to Xbox LIVE policy regarding TOS, acceptable language, and the recent visit paid to the Xbox offices by GLAAD representatives.

Stephen Toulouse, who handles policy and enforcement for Xbox LIVE, dropped by to talk policy, and right around the 20:20 minute mark Toulouse and the Maj focus on gay and lesbian policy issues. Toulouse has been working with GLAAD since January 2009 or late December 2008, and a pair of GLAAD reps spent two days discussing LGBT issues and concerns regarding Xbox LIVE.

Says Toulouse:

"I can't talk about what we discussed specifically except to say that we provided them with a lot of information about what we do today, why we do what we do and how we do it. And then we asked them the question, 'How can we do this better?' And we have some ideas. Here are some ideas. That dialog was super, super helpful. I think it was a great engagement. Justin and Jeffrey who came out from GLAAD really appreciated the effort that we're putting into it - and had great ideas, like they brought up some stuff we hadn't thought of.

"I would recommend to any business who's tackling these issues, they're a great group to work with. The GLAAD folk totally understand a variety of things, they're really great to work with. They want to enable communities to be safer. They just want to enable communities to be safer - that's what my team tries to do as well, so it was a great thing.

"We'll plan to say something about [GLAAD and Xbox LIVE policy] in the future."

Major Nelson and Toulouse then move on to inappropriate political gamertags, and from the number of bleeps (and the stunned silence that follows), one can safely infer that keeping Xbox LIVE clean is a full-time job that never lets up. Regardless of specific policy decisions that seem bizarre at best, Toulouse and team really do want to make Xbox LIVE a safe place for everyone, including their LGBT constituents.

Let's hope we hear back from Toulouse or Major Nelson about the specifics of those talks with GLAAD - I know that details would be enormously appreciated.

7 Comments

Nexus said:

What can they do? Stop penalising the victims for one.
But it doesn't really sound to me like that is something they'll be doing anytime soon.

Thicketford said:

Have Microsoft actually apologised yet for banning the woman who wrote that she was a lesbian in her profile? You could argue that it was against xbox live's rules. However, if that's the case then Microsoft should get to work on all the other tags that violate the rules.

For less than a month, I've been making a note of inappropriate gamer tags and I have found names using the following words and phrases (exact names not used)

Longdong
i like dik
gonorrhea
frotage
cum
splooged
anklespanker

I've also seen a profile with the phrase "rapist", and another soliciting people to suck the player off through a hole in a mattress.

Banning the woman for using a harmless word like "lesbian", while all these other sexually themed tags exist is absolutely ridiculous.

José said:

I agree with Thickerford. I once heard in a podcast that they do not penalize people for having names that point to a heterosexual orientation such as ladiesman or things of that nature.

However why are they talking to GLAAD of all people? I haven't been keeping up, but didn't they give an award to some not so gay friendly rapper a while ago?

:\ I thought Microsoft was a real gay friendly company.

Anonymous said:

Thicketford, just making note of the names does nothing. you have to report the gamertags for a terms of service violation.

Zoe said:

This is the first I have heard of this (shame on me), and I am absolutely SHOCKED by this BS policy. Don't even try to tell me that if I put "I'm straight" in my xbox profile that I would be banned because we all know it wouldn't happen.

My only question is to whom do I direct my email at MS so that I can complain about this double standard?

Stepto said:

Um just to be crystal clear yes indeed you would be suspended for any expression of sexual orientation, hetero or otherwise under the current policy. We're working on providing a way for people to express their relationship preference such that it can't be misused (e.g. saying Timmy's so gay).

Thicketford please report those gamertags through the console complaint system. My team will take care of them.

If anyone from the site is reading this please feel free to drop me a line, would love to get your thoughts on how we can do better as well.

S.

KnightWing said:

This is a joke!

Don't you have better things to do...oh no that's right all these gay and lesbian groups do is waste their time bitching and complaining about stupid issues then wonder why they don't get the support they should.

I support gay rights 110% but I feel that these groups are taking things way to far and just end up causing backlash and disinterest in real causes.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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KnightWing on Major Nelson Talks GLAAD, Xbox LIVE Policy: This is a joke! Don't you have better things to do...oh no that's right all these gay and lesbian groups...

Stepto on Major Nelson Talks GLAAD, Xbox LIVE Policy: Um just to be crystal clear yes indeed you would be suspended for any expression of sexual orientation, hetero or...

Zoe on Major Nelson Talks GLAAD, Xbox LIVE Policy: This is the first I have heard of this (shame on me), and I am absolutely SHOCKED by this BS...

Anonymous on Major Nelson Talks GLAAD, Xbox LIVE Policy: Thicketford, just making note of the names does nothing. you have to report the gamertags for a terms of service...

José on Major Nelson Talks GLAAD, Xbox LIVE Policy: I agree with Thickerford. I once heard in a podcast that they do not penalize people for having names that...

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