Xbox One adds fine-grained control over offensive text messages

JC Torres - Oct 15, 2019, 7:02 am CDT
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Xbox One adds fine-grained control over offensive text messages

While not generally true, some gamers do have a reputation for having a rather loose tongue, especially during competitive gameplay. That’s probably fine if you’re simply among peers of the same age range but can be a problem when a more heterogeneous mix is involved. It especially becomes dangerous when there are younger gamers in play, like when using a family-owned console. At long last, Microsoft is finally giving Xbox One owners the ability to censor some potentially harmful speech and even gives an almost ridiculous amount of control over it.

They say that words, once spoken, can never really be taken back but, fortunately, it’s easier to do so with digitally displayed text. Rather than simply block offensive speech, however, Microsoft is giving gamers the freedom to choose their own level of censorship. But wait, there’s more! They can even choose those levels depending on the type of message or where it’s coming from.

Users have access to four filtration levels, from Friendly’ which is best for kids, to Medium to Mature to “let all hell break loose” Unfiltered. Additionally, they can set different levels for different categories of messages, like for text message or text message requests. This allows users to have less restrictive filters with friends but blocks offensive words from those just sending requests.

The filtering system works differently for different types of accounts as well. Child accounts, for example, will default to Friendly settings but can be changed by parents. But while adults can, at their own risk, view what was filtered, child accounts never will.

Text filters will be rolling out to Xbox Insiders for testing this month with a general release aimed at Fall. Microsoft won’t stop with just text, though, but fine-tuning that AI and ML to filter out other kinds of content could take a bit of time and careful implementation.


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