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Microsoft wants your help to hunt down Xbox trolls

Published Aug 6th, 2013 2:10PM EDT
Xbox Live Gamer Reporting

If you build it, they will troll. The only things certain in life are death, taxes and the fact that trolls will eventually find their way to every public forum on the Internet. Xbox Live in particular is known for its special brand of trolls that look to disrupt other gamers and spoil their fun, but Microsoft is taking new steps in its effort to rid its online video game community of as many trolls as possible. At the start of the month, Microsoft announced the beta launch of a new system “Xbox Enforcement United,” which allows gamers to flag trolls as inappropriate and alert Microsoft’s Xbox Live Policy and Enforcement Team.

“Members who join the Enforcement United beta will participate by providing their opinions on whether particular content, initially Gamertags, violate the Xbox Live Code of Conduct,” Microsoft said in a post on its Xbox blog. “These decisions from participants feed into an algorithm our team developed. That algorithm takes several factors into account like how many participants believe there had been a violation and how reliably those individual members’ historical decisions aligned with the general consensus. The system can then determine whether or not to apply an enforcement action like requiring a Gamertag change, or if the complaint should be escalated for one of our enforcers to review more closely.”

The company says that it has “built in a series of carefully designed controls” so that individual gamers don’t end up with too much authority, and it says the system will “continually calibrate itself to understand how reliable the data is and the sources it comes from.” Members will also earn rewards on a new community site for active and meaningful contributions to programs like the new Xbox Enforcement United initiative.

“We’ve heard your feedback that you want ways to positively shape your Xbox Live experience and we feel this is a great way for you to get involved,” Microsoft said.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.