Today’s WTF: Microsoft Bans a Man for Living in Fort Gay

x-box live fort gayMicrosoft, Microsoft, Microsoft. What, are we playing catch-up to our former WTF King Blizzard now? If you’re not putting down your fanbase or trying to disguise your fairy leanings, then you’re banning people from your online service based on the name of their home town.

While this might not be an issue for most people (unless you have the misfortune to live near Lake Titicaca), an X-Box LIVE gamer recently ran afoul of Microsoft’s stringent “no bad words” policy. Typically these types of epithets are wielded on the internet with the expressed purpose of hurting someone’s feelings, but what if you’re just trying to tell people where you live. Fort Gay resident Josh Moore was kicked off of X-Box LIVE for adding the name of his town, a small 1,000 person hamlet in West Virginia, to his bio. Playing the devil’s advocate for Microsoft, they probably have a program that scours their user base looking for offensive language and auto-bans them without delving into specifics. Surely a phone call to X-Box LIVE’s customer service center could fix the issue? Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Mr. Moore was informed by Microsoft that the word gay was unacceptable in any context, and if he persisted in keeping the name of his town on his account, then his subscription would be canceled without a refund. Fort Gay’s mayor David Thompson got involved at this point, and through a series of interviews with local TV stations and the Associated Press, X-Box LIVE’s Director of Policy and Enforcement Stephen Toulouse stepped in and solved the issue. He reasons that, without context, the words Fort Gay, WV could be misconstrued as an insult. Mr. Toulouse promised to get in touch with Mr. Moore and remedy the situation. He said that keeping a lid on improper conduct on LIVE is a challenge, but he will work to set this particular incident right.

What do you guys think of this latest slip up? Microsoft is no stranger to backlash from heavy-handed maneuvers on LIVE, so this is just one more unfortunate incident. Obviously they were wrong in this instance, but is it better to be safe than sorry?

Source:CSB News

Written by

mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

5 thoughts on “Today’s WTF: Microsoft Bans a Man for Living in Fort Gay”

  1. I’m on the better safe than sorry side. I mean it is unfrotunate that there even needs to be bots scouring for foul language and automatically banning people, but that’s the interwebz we live in today! At least it was solved and he can get back to gaming.

    Besides, who wants to write in their if that’s the name? He’s gonna get harassed by 13 year olds in Halo probably 12 times a day anyways.

  2. Swear words:

    **** **** ****

    None swear words:

    Gay

    Microsoft got it wrong. Gay is not even a profound word. Like Julez said, if you have it somewhere in your name/bio, then a whole bunch of Justin Biebers will troll the hell out of you.

  3. “He said that keeping a lid on improper conduct on LIVE is a challenge, but he will work to set this particular incident right.”

    I honestly don’t get that, find a list of all (at the very least all US) towns and cities and add them to a whitelist. Problem solved.

    And I agree wih ClanFever, Gay is not a swear word.

  4. Seeing how blown up this has gone, I don’t think they should let it be allowed. Maybe if they put it as initials, F.G., or Fort G. I sense that if they legalize this name, more little 12 year olds would take advantage of it and add it as their hometown for jokes and silliness :\

Comments are closed.