Online safety remains a key issue in the gaming and tech space, with plenty of bad actors looking to exploit unsuspecting and vulnerable people online. To combat this, Microsoft is actively working to remove offending accounts and potential scammers, with the newly-minted Xbox Transparency Report going deeper into these processes.
According to the report, the Xbox moderation team has issued more than 4.33 million ‘proactive enforcements’ against inauthentic accounts in Q1 2022. These accounts are described as being ‘typically automated or bot-created accounts that create an unlevel playing field and can detract from positive player experiences.’
Proactive enforcements entail actions taken against accounts before they become an issue to players, and these are determined by detection tools and analysis. By flagging accounts early, Xbox can prevent players from receiving spam messages, being cheated in gameplay, inflating their follower counts, and disrupting online gaming sessions.
Moderation is reportedly up ninefold from the same period in the prior year – January to June 2021 – and has allowed the Xbox team to catch more ‘negative content’ before it reaches the eyes of players.
Efforts to catch bot accounts have been aided by significant player reports, with 33 million lodged in the reporting period. Communications and conduct were the primary concerns of these reports.
According to Xbox, ‘negative activity’ is still common in online spaces – but this goes against the community standards it strives for. The Xbox Transparency Report vision describes a future where feedback is well-implemented to create safer online spaces overall, with players helping to lead the charge on reporting, and the Xbox moderation team carrying the rest of the load.
Going forward, the company will implement a ‘multi-faceted’ approach to encourage a stronger, safer online community, while giving players better control of what they see. This process is described as ‘continued learning’ which will allow the company to implement new tools and features in future.