Xbox LIVE Policy on Gamertags and profiles


With the recent post on the Consumerist, I wanted to point out a couple of posts about Xbox LIVE policy that you may find relevant. The first post is from regular podcast guest Stephen Toulouse. Stephen and his team handle policy for the LIVE service, and therefore spend a lot of time developing the best policies that we use on the service. The second post is from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) where they give their take on the story. Hopefully you’ll take the time to read both which will give you a better understanding of the issues at hand.


  • Goodeye84

    Funny a woman who happens to a lesbian just wants to announce she is (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that she is) And she banned of Xbox Live. You would think in today’s world of “heaven forbid we offend anyone” attitude that probably wouldn’t happen. Which I find she got banned in the first place. I can never go into a game of uno without seeing some guy playing with his junk (making playing with cameras completly stupid now)

    And don’t tell me I can just file complaints on them I have done that it’s funny some of the same tags I wrote down to see if they were still on couple weeks later yep still playing on LIVE

    So rule of thumb for Xbox Live folks! You can’t say your gay or your a lesbian on your own profile, But you can show your junk over a camera in game!


  • lostatcore

    This is the first time in my two years of using Xbox Live that I have ever been dissapointed or upset with the way that Microsoft have gone about handling something. While I get that some people do not need nor do not wish to know the sexuality of other gamers on Xbox Live, I absolutely do not see the need to ban members that wish to state that they are gay, lesbian or bisexual or whatever on their Profiles. What difference can it make? So, people get offended if they read “I am a gay man.” Fair enough, but don’t you think that we, as openly gay people, might get offended if we CAN’T say that? If we can’t say what we are proud of being? Now, I’ve never had it stated on my profile that I am a gay man, but I swear, I am so tempted to do so now and if Microsoft so much as touched my account, policies or not, I would see fit to take action over them being discriminitive. Might seem a little over the top, right? Well so is banning users over expressing their own sexuality.


  • Arsenic13

    “Our current policy for Gamertags and Profiles does not allow expression of sexual orientation under the Terms of Use. That applies to *any* orientation, straight or gay or otherwise. ” Ok so if i write “Im Straight” in my motto or bio i could get suspended to? Thats a load of trash. The word gay and lesbian has negative connotations behind it and we will suffer. Tell me someone who writes straight will get suspended also. Im sorry but, bull.


  • Arsenic13

    Im glad i took “Proud Gaymer” out of my motto. Or else i would of been suspended. Sucks i just had to write that.


  • ElektroDragon

    An optional checkbox system to indicate sex, age group, orientation, skill level, maybe even race should have been included A LONG TIME AGO, along with the ability to match with gamers in your group (say, 30-somethings or women) if you so prefer. Diversity is great, but when playing social matchmaker, shouldn’t it be obvious that people would prefer to match up in groups with others similar to themselves?


  • fastmode

    Thanks for the links Major. I’m happy you are – or stepto is – working with GLAAD on this. I’m encouraged by the responses from stepto on his twitter and his blog.

    @ those who think gay people shouldn’t bring it up on Live:

    Straight people don’t realize how often they identify as straight on a daily basis, and yes, on Live. Speaking about your wife, or kids, or that Chun Li is hot or whatever is identifying as straight.

    There are dozens if not hundreds of tags using the root of “ladiesman” for example. Search on and you get dozens of hits linked to gamertags. If you want to get really technical, you could argue that’s a proclamation of heterosexuality, which would be against the terms of service, as stepto has explained them, as it references sexuality in the gamertag. Now n one is going to expect all these tags to be banned because it’s harmless. But it technically is a double standard.

    I totally get why people would be “encouraged” to change their tag if they had “gay” in it, simply because most of them would be used in an abusive way. Being gay and vocalizing orientation is not about sex to most gay people. Perhaps to a percentage, but it’s so much more than that – just as being married is only partly about sex. (Less so the longer the marriage lasts, often!)

    i hope there is a way to identify self-identity through Live in some way.

    But thanks, Major, and keep up the good work.


  • DesertBear360

    I have no problems with people’s personal sexual preference. But leave that information in the bio and not in the gamertag. We all need to remember that there are people whom don’t agree with the alternative sexual preference and find it offensive. If someone whom has an alternative preference does not want to be suspended then they should also respect that side by not placing that information in the gamertag. I have friends and family members whom have an alternative preference and they also agree that the gamertag should not be used to express that preference. If GLAAD and LGBT wants to be respected then both should respect those who don’t agree with it and find it offensive as well as respect the children that don’t know any better. Fact is there is a terms of use policy for a reason.

    XBOX LIVE is for gaming not expressing preferences. If people want to express themselves then there are websites for that. Let’s work on keeping LIVE respectful on both sides.


  • Arsenic13
  • Geoff The Hero

    ignorant traditionalists in this article


  • Quasar35

    It doesn’t matter to me at all what one’s sexuality is, and if they decide to put it on their bio is their thing. As long as they can play, it doesn’t matter to me. Still, the person shouldn’t have been suspended for something like this. I’ve seen far worse bios in my time on Live than one that simply has the person stating their sexuality.



    Since when dig sexuality become so important in gaming… Leisure Suite Larry making a comeback to live????


  • TROGDOR 007

    This is so dumb.

    Do I believe that it is right to be gay or lesbian? No, personally I don’t. Scientifically speaking, homosexuality doesn’t compute. Men were meant to be with women, and we can see this by the process of reproduction. Men with men cannot reproduce, as well as women with women. It like trying to fit a square block into a triangular hole. Does it work? Nope, I must have gotten it wrong. Lets try a different combination.

    But it’s gotten to the point where I really don’t care anymore. When I go gaming blogs or go on xbox live, I’m not there to listen to people preach about their sexual orientation or religion, I want to discuss games, or make a plan on what we are going to do to win the match, ect.

    My friends and I are part of a Philosophy Club with all types of different people attending, and it is great to have intelligent conversations about these topics. But people need to understand that there is a time and place for certain things.

    I simply hope that this issue is resolved, in whatever way is fastest.


  • TheJaxx5

    Many of the commentors here are of the same mind as me. That being, let them express who they are.

    I personally have no problem with it. I have a very good friend who is gay. I’ve run two community sites as well and have allowed people to expres themselves in that regards. And yes, I had to do some babysitting due to immature individuals, its the price I was willing to pay to bring a community of different people together under the one thing we all loved, gaming.

    No matter what the rules are, people are going to break them. And there must be someone to police them, and that is us. And for those that use the system to attack GLB’s, ban them.


  • Seizonsha

    IMO there is no reason to announce your sexual orientation over Xbox Live in your profile. Your sexuality has nothing to do with gaming, this is a place to play video games, you have the internet for announcing your sexual orientation to the world. Keep the drama off Live and Sexuality somewhere more appropriate.


  • ubi man

    Exactly my words, DesertBear360.


  • VinnieDaMac

    The Consumerist loves to report one-sided stories. (It brings in the traffic I’m sure) The sad part is people tend to take everything they post at face value because everyone thinks businesses “are big and bad.”


  • yolarrydabomb

    To me I have no problems with people being gay and lesbian as long as they don’t pull me away from being straight.

    But I agree that Microsoft should not ban people of putting the word GAY and LESBIAN on their bios. I dont see nobody has the problem with that on social networking sites.


  • killdavid77

    Well there is alot of people who used races word on Xbox Live, I hear too many people say the N-Word alot online. Xbox Live is a online gaming community for everybody, it does matter if your black, white, latino, asian, gay or lebian we all played video games.


  • Anonymous

    I don’t really care about someone’s sexual orientation. What matters is how they present themselves on-line. So what if someone has their orientation in their bio? Isn’t that what it is suppose to be used for? Telling other players about yourself?


  • Renown Recon

    Why doesn’t the LIVE Team incorporate new Orientation boxes within our Bio’s in which we can select our gender, and sexual preference? This would solve the current problems. If the player wished to hide his/her gender or sexual preference they can. All I’m saying is give the community the option to do so. I understand the need to prevent harassment, but sadly your always going to have those unintelligent people who say “Racist or Harassment” things to everyone. I personally believe that the good members of LIVE will not care whether or not your Gay, Lesbian or Straight. Just my thoughts on how to help LIVE with this matter.


  • Tamorok

    Sexual preference has no place on XBOX LIVE. The only reason someone would put it in their tag or profile is to get attention, which this person has succeeded in doing.


  • Shiaoran

    100% agreed with Tamorok.

    Also, this banning words thing is just stupid. I wouldn’t get offended if someone said ‘hey straight whitey!’ and I don’t think people should be offended by racial or sexuality words either.
    It’s like once happened to a friend of mine, someone called him ‘black fag’, and he just got back saying ‘I’m black, I’m gay and I’m proud of it.’. That’s the kind of attitude people should have, not like ‘oh! you just told me what I am with words that sounded bad, I’m offended!’.



    Having a profile to put your name and where you live is one thing, but it’s not an online dating profile, and relationship stuff doesn’t belong there. Even if you decide to put it there, it doesn’t really matter because it’s something you have to choose specifically to see. The gamertag is public and needs to be censored or else it will be exploited and abused by all the little kids out there that think it’s funny to call their friends gay. If they add sexual orientation, then the next step is to add ages and then we can filter all the games to only match those that have similar lifestyles to our own.

    I was being sarcastic about that last part, but everyone that is saying to let them do what they want, those are things that many people find offensive, and it’s no different than putting flat out swear words in your gamertag.


  • Tekkie neXt

    It shouldn’t really matter if you’re gay, bi, black, Asian, Buddhist or Muslim, you break the the ToS/ToU/ELUA and you face the consequences.

    The world doesn’t need to know this information, mate of mine is gay and he wouldn’t tell anyone over Live, even he says they don’t need to know, if you’re gay fair enough, you don’t have to declare it to the internet, adding it to your profile just encourages discrimination.

    If you don’t like people calling you offensive terms then report or mute them them, abuse is part and parcel of online gaming, people get pissed off when they die a lot or lose and will say some nasty things as a result.

    MS’s policy is fine as it is, it was made as such to discourage discrimination by not allowing you add anything to your profile that would trigger the abuse in the first place.


  • CosMick

    Gay, Straight or Alien, I’m still gonna Ultra combo finish you 😀

    Lets just leave this kinda topic out of gaming, it’s not needed.


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