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.
"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.