Microsoft Xbox moderates to reduce toxic content



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Mikaila Ulmer, left, and Microsoft general manager, Satya Nadella, perform on stage at the We Day at KeyArena in Seattle on April 20, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.

Mat Hayward | We day | Getty Images

While Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social platforms are blamed for allowing hate speech, Microsoft is stepping up efforts to counter the toxic comments of its 63 million Xbox Live users.

The game is not Microsoft's priority market – the cloud infrastructure and productivity applications are more crucial to its business – but the segment has generated 10% of Microsoft's revenue in the last quarter. And the company continues to invest in its Xbox business as it moves away from other consumer markets, such as wearables and streaming music. Microsoft must ensure that Xbox players do not hear or see any content that may disable users or scare young players.

Microsoft is taking these steps after escalating the controversial Gamergate, which has led to people being harassed and threatening women.

The changes follow Microsoft's recent update of its Xbox gaming community standards, which pointed to several unacceptable practices. Now, it goes even further with the moderation tools.

"This summer, we're giving the club community officials proactive content moderation features that will help create safe spaces for fans to discuss their favorite games," said Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President, on Monday. of the game at Microsoft. "We plan to bring new content moderation experiences to everyone on Xbox Live by the end of 2019." Xbox Live has 63 million active users per month and the service includes groups in which users can post content and send comments, as well as chat rooms.

"The gaming community continues to grow rapidly and the imminent deployment of new gaming services, such as Apple Arcade, Google Stadia and Microsoft's xCloud project, will make games accessible to even more people around the world," Spencer said. . "Our industry must now respond to the compelling urgency of playing with our overriding security emergency."

Last week, Microsoft announced that it was working with Sony, whose PlayStation has long been competing with Xbox, to understand how Microsoft's Azure cloud can become a part of Sony's architecture for the streaming of games and content. And Microsoft will soon begin to publicly test Project xCloud, a system for streaming games on mobile devices that can bring more players into its ecosystem.

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