Xbox Launches New "Strike" System To Help Weed Out The Jerks

The new system is similar to the "demerit" system used on driver's licenses in countries around the world.


Microsoft's ongoing effort to curtail bad behavior to help promote an environment free of harassment and bullying on Xbox continues with the announcement of a "strike" system. This comes not long after Microsoft rolled out an Xbox feature that allows players to capture and submit chat clips to help fight toxic behavior in online games.

The Xbox strike system is similar to the "demerit strike" system used on a driver's license in many countries. "A player that has received two strikes will be suspended from the platform for one day, whereas a player that receives four strikes will be suspended for seven days," Microsoft said.

There are a total of eight strikes. Once that number is reached, players will be suspended from messaging, parties, party chat, multiplayer, and other features for 12 months. Strikes against accounts will be retained on a player's record for six months before being wiped.

Players will receive one strike for profanity and cheating, and two strikes for sexually inappropriate and harassment/bullying. Anyone using hate speech will receive three strikes.

The new strike system
The new strike system

Every Xbox user begins their journey today with zero strikes, but any past enforcements need to be served out. New enforcement activity beginning today will count as strikes. Anyone can view their enforcement history to see any strikes in the future.

Microsoft said its new system "gives players a better understanding of enforcement severity and the cumulative effect of multiple enforcements."

Microsoft added: "Enforcement transparency is about giving players clarity into how their behavior impacts their experience. Our content moderation efforts are not changing as a result of the new enforcement strike system."

Microsoft also clarified that suspended accounts can still play single-player games and will not lose access to any purchased content. But for the "most serious violations," Microsoft said it has the ability to cut players off entirely from all functionality, and block access to purchased content.

This new strike system probably won't affect you. Microsoft said that in 2022, fewer than 1% of all players received a temporary suspension. Of that 1%, one-third of those people got a second suspension. "Our data shows us that players typically stop inappropriate behavior after one enforcement, quickly learning what is and is not acceptable based on the Xbox Community Standards and how to better engage on our platform," Microsoft said.

"The strike system is designed to further empower players to engage positively and appropriately on Xbox and with the community," the company added.

People can report behavior that they believe violates Xbox's Community Standards. Microsoft says it does not have an automated enforcement system, and instead, action is only taken after a person from the Xbox Safety Team has personally reviewed a complaint. Anyone who receives a strike can file an appeal.

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