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Microsoft gives examples of 'acceptable trash talk' on Xbox Live

What you need to know

  • Xbox Live has given examples of acceptable trash talking in a new post.
  • Hate speech and other racist attacks won't be tolerated.
  • Engaging in such behavior will get your account suspended.

A few days ago, Microsoft updated its community standard (opens in new tab) for using Xbox Live. While the document contains a number of guidelines you should follow — or risk getting banned — it also contains a detailed section on trash talking. While we all would like to live in a world where trash talking didn't exist, it's a natural part of a competitive experience, especially if it involves multiplayer combat in tight arenas. The adrenaline kicks in and gamers say a lot of disparaging phrases.

Microsoft acknowledges that trash talking takes place, and in the new community standard, gave examples of acceptable trash talking. While they're unintentionally hilarious, they aren't racist, sexist, or insult any other group. Acceptable trash talk includes the following phrases.

  • Get destroyed. Can't believe you thought you were on my level.
  • That was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked.
  • Only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. Try again, kid.
  • Cheap win. Come at me when you can actually drive without running cars off the road.
  • That sucked. Get good and then come back when your k/d's over 1.

However, going too far looks like like the following. You will get banned if you engage in such behavior. It's suffice to say using threats of sexual violence, racism, and profanity during multiplayer games is downright unacceptable.

  • Get (sexual threat).Can't believe you thought you were on my level.
  • Hey (profanity), that was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked, trash.
  • Only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. KYS, kid.
  • Cheap win. Totally expected from a (racial slur).
  • You suck. Get out of my country — maybe they'll let you back in when your k/d's over 1.

The section ended by saying "Be yourself, but not at the expense of others...If you're looking for a place on the internet to be overly edgy or get that rise out of people, Xbox isn't the place for you."

Keep in mind that millions of other gamers use Xbox Live just like you do. There are ways to express your individuality and have a positive impact on other players.

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

37 Comments
  • The sjw brigade is here. Gone are the good old days of xbox live game chat trash talking. If you can't handle trash talking, don't play online with chat
  • Microsoft always handled Xbox Live like this. The point is that Xbox is supposed to be a platform for people of all ages, including children, to play safely. That's why you're not allowed to capture graphic sexual content in games, and some games with graphic nudity have been forced to remove it.
  • First of all, 360 was NOT like this. Secondly, this supposed protective system allows kids to view sexual content while playing but cant capture it..... Wow, that makes sense... Great way to keep "kids safe" from adult content. The reason we can create adult lobbies is to keep children out. Ever since they created this Xbox Enforcement system with Xbox One, this has become more and more ridiculous. Dictating "acceptable trash talking" under the guise of child protection. Children should NOT be playing these games and adult lobbies keep kids out anyway.
  • Or maybe the people who abuse shouldn’t be online.
  • Abuse? How is f*** you, you're trash, and I f***** your mom last night abuse? I remember sucking at cod zombies and a lobby constantly saying I've down syndrome. These were the fun days. Lobbies should not be censored. I hope this only applies to messages and not voice chat. I only party chat on xbox anyway so it won't affect me but its sad seeing the world turn so soft
  • LOL. No "SJW" wants profanity gone. Racist remarks, yes. These policies are Microsoft's decision.
  • Oh get lost
  • I always avoided consoles mainly because of modding but I had no idea they censored that much--I've had a bit of background interest in xBox though but it is now completely gone after reading this. PC and Discord for the win.
  • That’s ridiculous. So you think that racism and other unforgivable behavior should be allowed?
  • Well, it IS the "PC Master Race", so I guess that goes hand in hand?
  • I'd argue, that with the Xbox system, you wouldn't be able to see people for who they really are: People behind Politically correct masks, or people with actual decency.
  • boohoo mean words on the internet lmao
  • So swearing is unforgivable behavior. Better stay in your shell.
  • keep in mind they're paying for this on a monthly basis too lol
  • Yep, and some of that pay goes to the police force that is enforcing these rules to protect the children playing on the system.
  • ah yes how could I forget the lack of parenting this day in age
  • lmao the state of console gaming is sad as (profanity)
  • It's impressive how people can be mad at everything, absolutely no one benefits from not having these rules with the exception of the people that say this.
  • It is also impressive that they don't even TRY to understand why you may have a policy in place to protect children that may be playing. I don't think that you should ban people from cursing when you are playing a rated M game, but you also shouldn't be able to freely call people every racial slur in the book either.
  • I agree. I think it should depend on the game ESRB rating. While I agree that stuff like racism shouldn't be accepted regardless, it is very difficult to judge profanity.
    In a M rated game is "F*** off" a profanity that should get you banned? That's subjective. Who defines what is acceptable and what's not? It's really debatable.
    It's also a cultural thing, where something could be really insulting for some people while it's just normal for others. We got to also consider that a game like CoD is rated M in the US, there shouldn't really be any kids playing it but the reality is there are loads of them.
    If we want to "protect the children" maybe more steps needs to be taken to prevent them from playing these adult games, but then it becomes a financial loss to companies so they rather let it happen...
  • Yeah, correct. The unfortunate truth to that is that Parents are no longer acting as parents. In reality it's their Phone, Pad, TV, Console, or whatever they decide to park them in front of to get kids out of their faces that is doing the parenting. In top of that, game ratings have not adapted to the times like movies have. I remember the days where 1 F word automatically gave you a R rating, now it gets a PG-13 on top of I see it on basic cable! Games however haven't moved the same way in these 15 or so years of ratings. A GTA M rating is NOT the same thing as a CoD M rating. The only next step is AO, which they rarely do. Being that the non-parents already don't look at ratings, do we really think they will look at content for the rating? I tried explaining this once to my brother in law, but I don't think he understood how much playing GTA is like watching Reservoir Dogs mixed with after hours Showtime.
  • That’s incorrect about movies - Movies with a single use of the F-word used to have to be R because PG-13 didn’t exist until after the release of Temple of Doom and Gremlins in the 1980s. The ratings systems for movies actually became MORE stringent. This is a common misunderstanding.
    Meanwhile rating systems for games are still relatively new, so I imagine eventually they will be broken down in to further categories eventually too.
  • What I am referring to is AFTER PG13 was a rating. Now you get to use some major language in a PG13 movie, before you pushing it with one word. Look at TV with the rating TVMA and how that's evolved just in the past 10 years. I understand game ratings are relatively new, but there has been plenty of time for it to change, especially in the past 10 years.
  • The esrb system is not a prohibitive system, therefore saying no kids should be playing it isn't really true. That's without mentioning that the online interactions are separate.
  • Actually it can be, when it comes to parental settings (which no one does). Also it might take a high profile game like GTA, but there have been cases where store like Walmart required someone to be of age when buying the game. But to your point, usually it doesn't exclude anyone from actually playing. It's more of guidence to parents who aren't listing to it.
  • That's not the esrb system being prohibitive, that's the parental settings being prohibitive using the esrb system as a scale. It's not different than a kid walking into gamestop with their parent and asking for an M rated game. The parent can (presumably) make an informed decision on the game and decide of their kid can have the game.
  • By a prohitive system I mean they possibly dont have the ability to do it without a guardian. The same can be said about movie ratings. Of course parents can override, and usually do. But like I said earlier, I'm not disagreeing with you. It is more of a guidance system.
  • Its about time Microsoft! Those Xbox 360 party chat days were crazy with racism and other terrible social behavior like dark humor etc.
  • This has always been the policy.
  • Not everyone is American and can't handle dark humor.
  • I am so excited to see how this soft generation will make it in the real world.
  • Sad state indeed.
  • I agree with Ms decision because of the kids. Nobody is forcing anyone to continue paying for this service. We are being censored everywhere. Point being, it's majorly on elses platform so we have little room for talk. Protecting the kids should be a priority.
  • You are serious? Kids are the ones who send this crap. Adults are the ones crying and are having to be protected by it.
  • Ah, people can't handle a simple "**** you" message these days... Pretty sure most offending accounts will be kids, not adults, those are the ones crying about it.
  • Do you have any evidence to support that statement?
  • I'd rather stay on a platform where my speech is not shaped and controlled like this. I've looked over past chats from 10 years ago and they are full of FRIENDLY "abuse" and casual "bigotry", a group of friends that trashed each other and made fun of everything is sight.
    Very good times indeed, before the veil of pearl clutching, censorship-happy insanity has descended on the world. One thing I know for sure, I am not willing to reshape the way I talk and communicate to please society, or worse, some faceless mega-corporation that fakes morality.