While Xbox Live is a place where gamers can connect with one another, Xbox boss Phil Spencer does not want it being used as a tool for politics. During an interview with the NY Times, Spencer was asked about past comments by Steve Bannon, former chief strategist to President Trump. Bannon previously stated that gaming communities could be sought out as a tool to build support for Trump's policies. Spencer replied to interviewer Kara Swisher stating that Xbox Live is meant to be a place for gamers. The service is not intended as a place for politics or total freedom of speech, and there are no plans for that to change.
"One of the things we've stated about our social network is we're not a free speech platform. We're a platform around interactive entertainment and video games... We're not there to allow any conversation to happen on our platform," said Spencer.
Xbox Live recently came under fire from Xbox co-creator Seamus Blackley, who highlighted ongoing issues with sexual harassment on the platform. Blackley's comments came after streamer Grenade Queen shared a video of harassment she received from multiple players during a match in Halo Infinite. Blackley argued that more needed to be done to moderate the platform, and keep it enjoyable for all users. That sentiment was echoed by Spencer to the NY Times. The Xbox boss told Swisher that Xbox can do more to moderate the service.
"I think we all have a long way to go. You could tell me that's a lame answer. That's all right," said Spencer.
While Bannon might see gaming communities as a way to grow his political support, Spencer can hardly be blamed for wanting to keep politics away from the Xbox brand. The internet already offers plenty of places for people to debate politics, and Xbox Live should be a place where people can escape and unwind. That's clearly what Microsoft wants for the service, and that's probably for the best!
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