Xbox Enforcement United beta introduced, gives Live members a taste of power

Microsoft has announced a new initiative to help keep Xbox Live users in check, a program that it is calling (for now, anyway) Xbox Enforcement United. Under the program, which is currently in beta, Live members can participate in a bit of community-initiated justice against those who violate the Code of Conduct. Those who participate will be doing so as volunteers, and must meet certain requirements.

The program is only available to Xbox LIVE Gold members, and will initially only be open to current Ambassadors, eventually opening up to all members. These individuals will be able to provide feedback on other Live gamers, determining (based on their own judgement) whether that particular gamer acted in violation of the Code of Conduct. At the top end of the totem pole, a gamer could end up under review from an enforcer.

To keep the members from wielding unjust action against a gamer, no individual participant in the program will have the authority to banhammer a gamer. Rather, the system is controlled by an algorithm that looks at the overall feedback picture, taking into account several factors and all judgements issued by the Enforcement United participants. Things like the participant's history and the number of complaints are considered.

The system then automatically issues a final judgement, either automatically enforcing an action against the gamer if they're found guilty, requiring a change or issuing a penalty of some sort, or deciding that the gamer is innocent of claims against him or her. If the algorithm isn't capable of issuing a decision based on the information provided by participants, the complaint will be sent to someone to review instead.

Microsoft didn't state when the beta program will open up to users that aren't Ambassadors, only stating that it'll happen "in the coming months." Those who qualify to participate under the beta program will need to head over to the new Enforcement United page and register, at which point they'll be presented with a tutorial that walks them through how the program works.