“Xbox Live Is Not A Free Speech Platform,” Says Head Of Xbox
Microsoft is making changes to Xbox. While Xbox Live has been a part of the console from the start, and it's not been an unmoderated space before now, Microsoft is rallying behind the idea of Gaming For Everyone. That means new tools and systems to better maintain the space, but also a public message about who Xbox Live is for.
"Xbox Live is not a free speech platform," Spencer told Kotaku in a recent interview. "It is not a place where anybody can come and say anything. And as we're working to ensure it's a safe and inclusive environment for everybody, I don't want to be opaque about it."
The interview comes off the back of a recent blog post from Spencer, titled 'Video games: A unifying force for the world'. The long article makes a number of commitments to the Xbox community, commitments to make users safe from predators, hate, and harassment and commitments to make the platform accessible and inclusive.
"The only reason we published it now is, just as we're making progress in Gaming For Everyone, as we're going to do more things in our services, as we're beefing up parental controls, there's going to be a fringe segment that doesn't like the direction we go," Spencer explains to Kotaku.
While it isn't technically 'early days' - Microsoft has been running Xbox Live for more than a decade - this recent candidness feels new. Not a change in direction, so much, but a hardening of resolve. It sounds like that is in part thanks to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
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"It was five years ago when I became head of Xbox," Spencer says "and Satya Nadella, the CEO, he said, especially when I moved to report to him: I don't want you to think about how gaming can help Microsoft. I want you to think about how Microsoft can help us make inroads in gaming, and I want you to use the platform of Microsoft in gaming to stand for things that you guys care about."
Featured Image Credit: Microsoft