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Editors note: To clarify, Microsoft did not update their policies but rather changed the wording in a number of ways. According to Microsoft themselves this was for clarification purposes only. Microsoft did, however, make clear that they do not tolerate "abusive language" according to the updated wording. 

It seems like just yesterday the Xbox 360 came spilling off store shelves and into the homes of millions of gamers across the globe. Instant communication, at least within the console community, was new and exciting. Teamwork, goal objectives, and general conversation kept things alive. Yet, it wasn't long before people inevitably started the smack-talk. It's a common pop-culture phenomenon, a go-to joke even in movies today, where twelve year old kids seem to out rank even the most seasoned of swearers. That's about to change with Microsoft's new Services Agreement.

Microsoft offered a summary of the changes. In it, number 5 stands out:

“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.”

The policy changes come in the aftermath of Congress passing the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act(FOSTA), a lot of people arguing that the two are related. After all, it's not just offensive language that's being targeted, but also nudity, pornography, bestiality, graphic violence, and criminal activity. We wonder how “graphic violence” even made its way in there, seeing that a lot of popular games center around that very theme.

Whether or not Microsoft is ready to enforce the new policy, set to take effect May 1st, remains to be seen. It's nothing new for policies set by Microsoft to try and ban offensive language, something done in the past but never enforced, but if the new code of conduct truly is a direct result from FOSTA then things may change across the board. Kids will mad, we assume, as well as anyone else who likes to smack-talk the competition.

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Joshua Cardiff is a freelance writer, blogger, and ghost writer with strong influences in travel, art, and technology. He loves gaming, enjoying the outdoors, and digital art.

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