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In an update to its online services, Microsoft has warned offensive language could lead to a ban or suspension.
A new terms of service document is being sent out to registered users of Microsoft services including Xbox Live and Skype, threatening bans for any of those going against the new rules.
In the update, Microsoft wrote: "In the Code of Conduct section, we've clarified that use of offensive language and fraudulent activity is prohibited.
"We've also clarified that violation of the Code of Conduct through Xbox Services may result in suspensions or bans from participation in Xbox Services, including forfeiture of content licenses, Xbox Gold Membership time, and Microsoft account balances associated with the account."
Previous terms of service documents have simply listed against the use of "profane words or phrases" whereas this change seems to present a difference between foul language and language used to hurt people, particularly when it comes to women and minorities. Which should be a given, but there are a lot of d-bags out there.
A Microsoft spokesperson clarified it is committed to providing its customers with 'safe and secure' experiences when using the services.
"The recent changes to the Microsoft Service Agreement's Code of Conduct provide transparency on how we respond to customer reports of public content that violates our terms of service."
The company added that the update doesn't mean a full on policy change, but is more to warn of the potential consequences of using such language.
So how about the other 'inappropriate behaviours' that could lead to a ban? According to Microsoft's terms and conditions, the company outlines, 'nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence or criminal activity'.
While these inappropriate behaviours should be a given when it comes to playing Xbox Live or conversing over Skype, what some people are speculating are the implications these rules have for users' privacy.
Speaking on this subject, blogger Jonathan Corbett wrote, "They [Microsoft] do nothing to define 'offensive language' (or 'graphic violence' for that matter)... these terms allow Microsoft staff to play unrestrained censor if and when they choose.
"What's also clear is that they reserve the right to go through your private data, and these terms seem to pretty clearly allow them to watch and listen to your Skype calls, so long as they are 'investigating' something."
Of course, this is all just speculation and, according to Microsoft, it only plans on investigating a user's content if an official complaint has been made. So no cussing and being a dick, and you can continue to smash randomers at Fifa.
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