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Gaming

Microsoft lays down law on trash talking for Xbox Live

Time to be more creative with the insults.

Microsoft Xbox One

The Xbox One

James Martin/CNET

As is the case with many things, a few people can ruin an experience for everyone else. Microsoft made it official what constitutes trash talking on Xbox Live with a new set of rules for the service.

On Tuesday, Microsoft released its Community Standards for Xbox that it describes as "a roadmap for contributing to this incredible, globe-spanning community." One topic addressed is what can or can't be said.

Examples of trash talking that's no longer allowed:

  • Telling other players to "kill yourself(KYS)" or commit self-harm
  • Threatening someone with physical assault after an intense game
  • Messaging other players with homophobic slurs
  • Responding to someone's smack talk with sexual slurs
  • Making fun of other people's identities or personal traits

Insulting a player based on his or her skill level is still allowed, meaning players can say someone sucks at the game. But they might have to get more creative with their insults.

The standards also lay out some fairly obvious reasons for getting banned from the services, such as uploading pictures of animal abuse, offering prizes in exchange for follows and pretending to be a Microsoft employee or game developer.

There're also rules many players will find a relief, like prohibiting players from sending repeated game invites to players who haven't shown an interest in joining, from intentionally "teamkilling" other players and from flooding voice chat with music during a multiplayer match.

Those who violate the rules will face a temporary suspension that can include restrictions on the use of online multiplayer, the blocking of voice and text communications and the inability to livestream. Repeat or severe offenders can be permanently suspended from Xbox Live. 

"Community Standards for Xbox, which launched on April 30, makes it easier to understand what kind of behavior is acceptable on Xbox Live and what is not, and how to positively contribute to the global Xbox community to ensure it is safe, welcoming and inclusive of everyone," said a Microsoft spokesperson in an email. "The standards are not a new set of rules, but are a call to action that empowers every player to evaluate their behavior and adjust accordingly in order to be a force for good." 

Originally published May 3, 8:17 a.m. PT.
Update, May 3 12:21 p.m PT: Adds comment from Microsoft.

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