www.office.com/setup: Microsoft will ban ‘offensive language’ and ‘inappropriate content’ from Skype, Xbox, Office and other services on May 1, claiming that you have the right to review your private data to ‘investigate’.
It is better to be careful if you play Xbox, they mark you and criticize you. Microsoft could ban you from “offensive language.” If they do, say goodbye to your Xbox Gold Membership and any Microsoft account balance.
Or if you and a loved one get hot and heavy through Skype, it is better to look at their language and any nudity because that can also make them see it forbidden. The ban-hammer could also fall if Cortana is listening at the wrong time or if documents and files hosted on Microsoft services violate Microsoft’s amended terms.
The changes are part of the new Microsoft Terms of Services agreement that will go into effect on May 1 and cover a plethora of Microsoft services.
Civil rights activist and law student Jonathan Corbett took the time to read the new terms and raised the alarm.
Microsoft provided a summary of the changes; the number 5 says:
In the section of the Code of Conduct, we have clarified that the use of offensive language and fraudulent activity is prohibited. We also clarify that violation of the Code of Conduct through the Xbox Services may result in suspensions or prohibitions on participation in the Xbox Services, including loss of content licenses, Xbox Gold membership time and balance balances. Microsoft accounts associated with the account.
What qualifies as offensive language?
The offensive language is quite vague. Offensive to whom? What my grandmother might consider offensive and what might seem offensive could be very different. But how would Microsoft even know if you really had been “offensive”? Well, that part is under the Code of Conduct, which states: “When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content to resolve the problem.”
Microsoft added: “However, we can not monitor all Services and not try.”
I’m not sure that makes it feel better, since another part indicates that Microsoft “can also block the delivery of a communication (such as email, file exchange or instant message) to or from the Services in an effort to enforce these Terms or may remove or refuse to publish your content for any reason. ”
Corbett also pointed to a part of the text found in the new Microsoft agreement:
Do not show or publicly use the Services to share content or inappropriate material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence or criminal activity).
Corbett then wrote:
So, wait a moment: I can not use Skype to have a video call for adults with my girlfriend. I can not use OneDrive to back up a document that says “f * ck” on it. If I call someone with a malicious name on Xbox Live, they will not only cancel my account, they will also confiscate the funds that I have deposited in my account. (And we are no longer allowed to shoot people in Call of Duty? The animated violence actually has no more “graphic effect” than this video game approved by Microsoft).