New Xbox Live Community Standards Attempt to Define Trash Talk

Microsoft has updated their community standards for Xbox Live in an attempt to define, and possibly restrict, trash talking in online video games.

While the company has always had a conduct policy, this is the first time they’re actually looking at a phenomenon as old as playing “games”, even before video games – trash talking.

“A little trash talk is an expected part of competitive multiplayer action, and that’s not a bad thing,” the document reads. “But hate has no place here, and what’s not okay is when that trash talk turns into harassment.”

The document notes trash talk should be “lighthearted banter or bragging that focuses on the game at hand,” while harassment is when the discussion is focused on that person, or where it can make someone “feel unwelcome or unsafe.”

Microsoft is also drawing the line in terms of legality, where users trying to set up drug-distribution clubs or using custom gamerpics of terrorism are being shut down. Naming a club after a “highly controversial figure” is also not allowed, as well as “[using] your activity feed as a platform to promote controversial politics.”

Furthermore, Microsoft also draws the line when it comes to spam, or borderline inappropriate content, adding: “Mature content that makes sense in a game might not be appropriate elsewhere on Xbox.” Content that tricks someone in to viewing something inappropriate is also not allowed.

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer, Nicchiban, and Pretentious Media. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.