Xbox Introduces New ‘Enforcement Strike System’ to Address Toxic Behaviour

Xbox is introducing a new ‘Enforcement Strike System’ as a way of educating players about online safety while also proactively addressing online harassment and toxicity.

In an Xbox Wire post, the company outlines the ins and outs of the new strike policy. From a top level, the system is being designed to better help sift through online reports of harassment and bullying. Moreso, it looks at proactive ways repeat offenders are being treated and how, over time, they risk losing access to their online status.

As Xbox states, the ‘Enforcement Strike System’ attaches a “strike” to every enforcement made based on activity deemed inappropriate. A member of a moderation team reviews the report and doles out a strike. Strikeable actions could include profanity, cheating, being sexually inappropriate, using hate speech, violating TOS, etc.

Source: Xbox

Depending on the number of strikes, a player can then receive a suspension. For instance, one or two strikes lead to a one-day suspension. However, six strikes result in a 21-day suspension. Hit eight strikes and that player is suspended from using Xbox social features for one total year. This includes the use of messaging, parties, multiplayer, and more.

To begin, all players will start with a blank slate and zero strikes. All strikes will stay on a player’s record for six months. Players will have a chance to see their enforcement history and strikes that are attached to their records. Xbox hopes this will prove to show a new level of transparency while also educating players that online actions can have repercussions.

Xbox claims that in 2022, less than one percent of all players received a temporary suspension. Of that number, only a third received a second suspension. The company believes that players do indeed learn from their actions when enforcement is being taken. More relative data per the new Enforcement Strike System will be shared during Xbox’s bi-annual Transparency Report.

One of the biggest challenges developers, publishers, and console makers face is online toxicity. It’s far too common that open-mic lobbies are chock-full of racial slurs, sexist comments, and generally unpleasant behaviour. Many online communities struggle to make meaningful changes, largely due to how hard it is to moderate. Xbox’s new system could help take some of that stress off individual community teams that are engaging on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.

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