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Suspension Durations and Overlap

Published 3/2/2016

Though the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team strives to provide clear and transparent guidance when we receive inquiries from customers, some subjects generate more questions than others. Two such topics are suspension durations and ‘stacking’. How does XBLPET decide the length of a suspension? Why do some players receive a second suspension notification? Can someone be suspended twice for the same violation? If you’ve ever asked these questions or heard from the rumor mill, read on!

 

How is the length of a suspension determined?

XBLPET takes any prior suspensions into account when issuing an enforcement action, and adjusts the duration accordingly. If the player has an enforcement history, the newest suspension may include a longer duration to act as a stern deterrent against further violations.

However, the length of a suspension is also dependent on the severity of the violation. Many first-time violations result in 24-hour suspensions, but if the offense is more severe or places more players at risk, a lengthier suspension may be warranted. Some suspensions are issued due to single violations, while others result from investigations into longer patterns of behavior.

Especially egregious violations, such as modding, fraud, or extreme harassment, can result in an immediate permanent suspension. This occurs if the account can no longer be trusted to access the Xbox Live service without threatening the integrity of Xbox Live or the safety of the community. Permanent suspensions may also be issued if an account has a history of Code of Conduct violations and continues to engage in malicious behavior despite previous enforcement actions.

 

Why was I suspended again during my suspension?!

Occasionally, a player may receive additional enforcement while serving a suspension. This isn’t an error, but an indication that XBLPET discovered evidence of further violations. Please keep in mind that suspensions are not always issued immediately following a violation, and are often the result of an investigation of prior activities. Just as committing three robberies can result in getting charged with three counts, harassing multiple players can result in several distinct enforcements.

Typically, a second suspension will occur for one of several reasons:

  • Discovery of new or additional evidence indicating that multiple violations occurred involving multiple victims.
  • Identification of unrelated violations that necessitate a distinct suspension. For example, while an account serves a suspension for harassment, a separate investigation finds evidence of account theft.
  • In the course of investigating a Case Review inquiry, an enforcement agent discovers evidence of previously-unknown violations.

If you’re unsure why your suspension was extended, please review your Enforcement History, which includes the type of violation associated with each enforcement action.

 

Can I get suspended twice for the same thing?

XBLPET will not issue multiple suspensions for a single violation. For example, a single inappropriate Gamertag will only result in one forced Gamertag change, and cheating once in a single multiplayer match will only bring about one suspension for cheating.

However, one suspension does not absolve the account of every violation committed up to that point. If XBLPET discovers evidence of other inappropriate activities that occurred prior to the most recent suspension, it can result in additional enforcement action.

For instance, harassing numerous players could result in several distinct communications or account suspensions, even if all of the harassment occurred on the same day. This is because each case of abuse is a unique violation of the Microsoft Services Agreement. Similarly, an account could receive a suspension for abusive behavior that occurred the previous day, and shortly thereafter receive a second enforcement due to similar behavior that occurred three weeks earlier but only later came to the attention of XBLPET- whether due to player complaints, a Case Review investigation, or other means.

See the below example. This shows a scenario in which a player harassed others on several different days, resulting in distinct but overlapping suspensions:

Ultimately, the best way to avoid enforcement action is adhering to the guidelines outlined in the Microsoft Services Agreement and Microsoft’s Code of Conduct Explained for Xbox Live Customers.

 

 


 

 

Game Release Dates and Enforcement

Published 11/30/2015

This holiday season represents the greatest games lineup in Xbox history. We couldn’t be more excited as players everywhere get their hands on their most anticipated games, and we’re dedicated to ensuring you have a safe and enjoyable holiday experience on Xbox Live.

Sometimes, players acquire game titles prior to an official release date. When this happens, you might wonder if it’s ok to play the game early. Does playing a game before it formally comes out result in a ban? Is streaming an unreleased game allowed? We wanted to take a moment to clarify pre-release play policies and explain how they protect developers and the community.

As outlined in Microsoft’s Code of Conduct Explained for Xbox Live Customers, playing a game before it has been authorized for play on the service and sharing content more broadly than you’re allowed to share is not permitted:

  • Don’t pirate or use another’s content without permission. For example, don’t:
    • Share content more broadly than you’re allowed to share
    • Use another’s intellectual property without permission (e.g., copyrights, trade secrets)
    • Play any illegitimately obtained software or pirated games
    • Play a game before it has been authorized for play on the service

Read on to learn what this means for your experience.

 

Will I get banned if I play a game before release date?

Occasionally we encounter the misconception that anyone who plays a game before its release date is subject to a ban. In truth, while playing a title prior to its release can result in enforcement under certain circumstances, it’s not in anyone’s interest to suspend players who are simply excited to finally play an anticipated game.

Piracy is of course never acceptable, and playing pirated or illegitimate copies of game titles before or after the game’s release date will result in a permanent suspension and/or device ban. In rare situations a suspension may also be issued if a player attempts to play a game, regardless of how it was acquired, before it is ready for public use or authorized for play on Xbox Live.

Online pre-release play can lead to spoilers and leaked content, disrupting the developer’s planned release schedule and the experience for other players. Pre-release play can also place others at a competitive disadvantage when the title releases, and can create an unfair multiplayer playing field.

As a general rule of thumb, if you acquire a legitimate copy of a game prior to its release date you are welcome to play, but please do so offline until the game’s release date and refrain from spoiling the experience for others. For more information about using your Xbox One offline, visit xbox.com/offline.

 

I got a game early. Am I allowed to stream it?

Streaming a game prior to its release date can result in the revocation of certain Xbox Live privileges or an account suspension. We understand that you’re excited to share your experience with others, but streaming a game before its release date can spoil the game for other players and may create misconceptions about the game or its content.

Developers work extremely hard to create games that people want to play and put considerable time and energy into ensuring every game has a successful release. This includes announcements of features, game mechanics, and other news that can be disrupted or spoiled by pre-release streams. In order to safeguard the integrity of a game’s launch and to protect the community’s experience, some situations necessitate the removal of pre-release game streams.

 

I see other people streaming the game. Why are they allowed to?

Some developers permit journalists and specific members of the community to stream games prior to their release dates. This allows community members to see more of the game and helps demonstrate the game’s features.

However, these individuals are typically subject to an agreement with the developer or publisher that reduces the risk of spoilers and ensures that the sections of the game that are demonstrated accurately represent the final product as intended by the publisher. If you have not entered into an agreement with the developer or publisher and signed related documentation, streaming a game title prior to release can result in enforcement action.

 

 


 

 

Enforcement Myths: Volume 3

Published 9/30/2015

Throughout human history, every culture has had myths, legends, and rumors. While the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team unfortunately cannot confirm or deny the existence of Bigfoot, we can address rumors about the Xbox Live enforcement process. As part of our ongoing series, let’s take a moment to clarify some of these myths. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to your games after a suspension, how XBLPET determines a suspension’s duration, or how to interpret the Code of Conduct, read on!

For information about other common enforcement misconceptions, make sure to check out our Enforcement Myths page.

 

I got suspended. Does this mean I lose all of my games?

When a permanent account suspension is issued, XBLPET does not actively revoke an account's purchases or licenses or otherwise render existing content unplayable. Any content that has been downloaded and can be accessed without an internet connection can continue to be used by the affected account offline. Content downloaded to the suspended account’s Home Xbox One console can also continue to be used by other accounts present on the console.

However, once an account has been permanently suspended, it will not be able to re-download previous content or purchase new content. This is because a permanent suspension completely blocks the account from accessing the Xbox Live service. Any digital licenses that are already downloaded remain intact, but keep in mind that any game titles or specific features that require online services will not be useable.

 

I don't have any prior suspensions. Shouldn't I be suspended for just one day?

When issuing an enforcement action, XBLPET takes into account any prior suspension history. However, the length of a suspension is also dependent on the severity of the violation. Many first-time violations result in 24-hour suspensions, but if the offense is more severe or places more players at risk, a lengthier temporary suspension may be warranted.

Especially egregious violations, such as modding, fraud, or extreme harassment, can result in an immediate permanent suspension. This occurs if the account can no longer be trusted to access the Xbox Live service without threatening the integrity of Xbox Live or the safety of the community. Permanent suspensions may also be issued if an account has a history of Code of Conduct violations and continues to engage in malicious behavior despite previous enforcement actions.

For more information about Xbox Live suspensions and how they impact accounts, visit our suspension overview page.

 

I checked the Code of Conduct, and what you banned me for isn’t listed. How is this possible?

When players join Xbox Live or use other Microsoft services, they agree to the Microsoft Services Agreement. This document includes a Code of Conduct that establishes the general rules that should be followed when using a wide-range of Microsoft products and services.

By visiting our Code of Conduct page, you can see how Microsoft’s Code of Conduct applies to Xbox Live. This includes a number of examples of prohibited conduct and content. These examples help illustrate the spirit of the rules, but as stated in the document, they are not meant to be a complete list of possible violations.

For instance, one example of harmful content describes negative speech directed at people who belong to a group, including groups based on race, ethnicity, nationality, language, gender, age, disability, veteran status, religion, or sexual orientation/expression. However, there are other forms of negative speech that may be subject to enforcement, despite not being directed to one of these specific groups.

Every enforcement issued by XBLPET is rooted in the Microsoft Services Agreement and Code of Conduct, but it’s not practical to list every possible scenario. If you’re ever concerned that an activity may not be permitted on Xbox Live, please review the high-level rules (don’t cheat or tamper, don’t engage in fraud or unauthorized transactions, don’t harm or harass, etc.) and consider the values that they represent.

 

 


 

 

Learn About Enforcement Straight from the Source with Case Review

Published 8/28/2015

For millions of gamers, Xbox Live offers a chance to connect with friends, compete against others, and enjoy some quality entertainment. We understand how important this is, and that’s why the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team (XBLPET) is dedicated to preserving this experience for every member of the community.

However, XBLPET is much more than just the banhammer. It’s equally important to us that each suspended player understand why they received enforcement. Transparency in the enforcement process is beneficial for everyone and we want every affected player to learn from the experience and contribute to Xbox Live in a positive way. We also want every customer to have confidence in the enforcement process and trust that it is working to improve their Xbox Live experiences.

When an enforcement is issued we send a notification email, and in the past players with questions have been able to contact XBLPET through our forums. However, we’re well aware of the limitations of these methods, and we’re constantly striving to do better- the Xbox Live community deserves nothing less.

Therefore, we’re excited to announce Case Review, a brand-new process that allows any Xbox Live player with an active suspension the opportunity to have the enforcement re-examined by a member of the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team.

During the review process participants can submit their questions directly to XBLPET agents who will provide an understanding that can only come from one-on-one interaction, explaining not only the type of Code of Conduct violation that occurred, but why we felt enforcement was necessary. Submitting a Case Review won’t typically change the outcome of the enforcement, but it will be opportunity to learn about the case in greater depth. Nevertheless, in the very rare event that XBLPET discovers a mistake was made, we’ll absolutely make it right.

Every enforcement that comes through the Case Review process will be thoroughly reviewed by XBLPET. We’ll examine the context of the enforcement action, previous enforcement records, and any available evidence. We will also take into account any new information provided by the player submitting the review.

To learn more about the Case Review submission process, visit our overview page or examine your Enforcement History to see if you have any cases eligible for review.

Most players will never have to worry about receiving a suspension, but if you find yourself in such a situation know that the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team is available to help you understand it and answer your questions.

 

 


 

 

Xbox Live Enforcement and Windows 10

Published 7/29/2015

Windows 10 is an enormous milestone for Microsoft, PC users, and Xbox gamers alike. Not only does it introduce great features such as Microsoft Edge and Cortana, it also brings significant Xbox integration. With Xbox on Windows 10, you can keep up with your friends, activities, and achievements, capture clips and screenshots with Game DVR, and even stream Xbox One games to your Windows 10 device! Xbox Live is built into Windows 10, and the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team is dedicated to preserving that experience for all players, new and old. If you’re curious how Windows 10 impacts the enforcement process, check out our guide below.

 

Make sure your feedback is heard!

In many ways, Xbox on Windows provides a brand new experience, but existing players are going to feel right at home. Whether you’re connecting from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, Xbox on Windows is absolutely still part of the Xbox Live experience. Because of this, we made sure to provide players with the same robust reporting capabilities expected when connecting from any Xbox console. We certainly hope you won’t run into any troublesome players, but if you do, you can help make sure that XBLPET is aware of it!

If you’re unsure how to file a complaint through the Xbox app on Windows 10, check out our tutorial page. Just as on Xbox One, you can file a complaint against any inappropriate player, message, activity feed item or comment, game clip, or screenshot. Every complaint type includes an optional text box, so you can provide as much detail about the violation as you see fit. If you don’t feel a complaint is necessary, but you wish to mute or block another player through the Xbox app, you can do so with just a few clicks of the mouse by following the steps outlined here.

 

One Microsoft, One Code of Conduct

If you’re a member of Xbox Live or a user of other Microsoft services, chances are you’ve already received an email introducing the new Microsoft Services Agreement. Effective August 1, 2015, this document will replace the Xbox Live Terms of Use and Xbox Live Code of Conduct.

Windows 10 brings many Microsoft services together in new and exciting ways and the Microsoft Services Agreement reflects this, applying not only to Xbox Live, but also Bing, Office 365, Skype, OneDrive, Outlook.com, and more. Consolidating these services under a single document promotes simplicity, privacy, and transparency. To learn more about the transition to the new services agreement and its benefits, check out the FAQ.

Section 3 of the Microsoft Services Agreement features the Microsoft Code of Conduct, establishing the basic rules and guidelines for the use of Microsoft services. Curious how you should interpret these rules when playing online? Don’t worry, we have you covered! Our Code of Conduct page has been updated to outline how the Code of Conduct applies to conduct and content on the Xbox Live service. Though the document has evolved, the underlying rules of the service haven’t changed. If you’re aware of the previous Xbox Live Code of Conduct, the new document should look familiar!

 

Enforcement reciprocity

With the release of Windows 10, you have more ways to connect to Xbox Live and play with your friends, no matter where you are. This makes it all the more important that the Xbox Live enforcement experience remains consistent. Even as players connect from different devices, they all share the same Xbox Live service, so when a violation occurs the resulting enforcement typically applies to the affected account on every platform.

Generally, Xbox One and Xbox on Windows enforcements function in the same way. For example, if an account creates an offensive Game DVR clip on Xbox One, the account will receive an enforcement action temporarily suspending the ability to upload Game DVR content on both Xbox One and Xbox on Windows.

Though we strive for consistency, because Xbox One and Windows 10 were designed from the ground up with new technology some enforcement actions impact Xbox 360 differently. To see exactly how certain enforcement actions impact an account on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox on Windows, check out our Enforcement by Platform page.

Keep in mind, Xbox Live enforcement actions on Windows 10 are limited to your use of the Xbox app, Xbox Live-enabled game titles, and other Xbox on Windows functionality. Enforcement actions, including device bans, do not limit the functionality of your Windows 10 device or your Microsoft Account.

 

Keeping you informed

If an account violates the Code of Conduct and receives an enforcement, we want that player to know and understand why we had to take action. The Stay Safe section of enforcement.xbox.com is dedicated to explaining how certain violations harm Xbox Live, and you can check your Enforcement History at any time to see if you are currently subject to any enforcement action or have received any suspensions in the past. If a player receives an enforcement action they will also typically receive an email notification at the Microsoft Account associated with the Gamertag.

Just as some suspensions block accounts from signing in to an Xbox console, certain enforcement actions, including account suspensions, forced Gamertag changes, and device bans, may prevent you from signing into the Xbox app on Windows 10. If you experience persistent issues attempting to sign in or use certain Xbox on Windows features, it may be due to an enforcement.

However, it’s important to emphasize that the loss of certain Xbox on Windows functionality may not necessarily be enforcement-related. If you experience difficulties but do not have an active enforcement, try the following steps:

  • Check http://support.xbox.com/xbox-live-status to determine if there are any current service interruptions that could impact your experience
  • Check your account’s privacy settings (or parental settings) for any settings that may limit the use of certain Xbox Live features

If you still experience persistent issues, please contact Xbox Support for further assistance.

 

 


 

 

Enforcement Myths: Volume 2

Published 6/17/2015

It may not come as a surprise, but Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement has occasionally been the subject of intense rumor and speculation. There will always be certain aspects of the investigative process that we need to keep close to the chest for security and privacy reasons, but it’s not in our interest to keep players in the dark about what we do. We want to be open with the Xbox Live community and set the proper expectations about the enforcement process and the consequences of receiving a suspension.

Read on to learn the truth behind some common enforcement misconceptions, and view our complete list of enforcement myths here.

 

Xbox blocks offensive Gamertags. If I was able to create the Gamertag it shouldn’t be considered offensive, right?

While some offensive terms (for instance, unambiguous profanity and racial slurs) are blocked and cannot be used in a Gamertag or profile, inappropriate Gamertags and profiles that use available terms may still be subject to enforcement action.

The Code of Conduct establishes that certain types of content, such as profanity, hate speech, references to illegal activities, and other controversial or sensitive topics are not permitted. Content that is designed to look similar to or otherwise suggest such topics is also inappropriate.

The vast majority of Gamertags are perfectly acceptable. However, successfully creating a particular Gamertag doesn’t automatically mean that it’s appropriate. If you encounter an offensive Gamertag or profile, please file a complaint.

 

Shouldn’t I receive a warning before a suspension?

The Code of Conduct clearly outlines the rules of Xbox Live and establishes what content and behavior is not appropriate. We strongly encourage all players to familiarize themselves with this document (don’t worry, it’s a quick read!) to best understand how to keep Xbox Live fun for everyone. When a player agrees to the Code of Conduct and Terms of Use, it’s expected that they understand the rules of the service.

In many cases, a suspension itself also acts as a warning. When XBLPET issues a suspension, it serves as an indication that a Code of Conduct violation occurred and affected player needs to re-visit the rules. If you receive a suspension, please take a moment to think about the behavior that led to it and visit our Stay Safe section to understand how Code of Conduct violations negatively impact the Xbox Live community.

 

My roommate was playing when I got suspended. Can it be lifted?

Xbox Live is a social platform, and we love hearing about players sharing their experience with friends and family. Xbox Live is at its best when everyone joins in the fun!

However, as the owner of the account you are ultimately responsible for how the account is used, both good and bad. When we issue a suspension, it’s not necessarily because you committed a violation, but because the account was used to commit a violation. Even if you weren’t home or holding the controller when the activity occurred, if a particular Gamertag was used to harass other players or cheated in a game we have to hold it accountable.

If you wish to restrict usage of your account you can set up a passkey on Xbox 360 or Xbox One. And thanks to the benefits of Home Gold, it’s easier than ever for every member of the household to create their own Xbox Live account!

 

 


 

 

Filed a complaint? Get some feedback!

Published 5/29/2015

Though the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team routinely patrols the Xbox Live service to combat inappropriate activity, we also rely on passionate members of the community to help keep Xbox Live fun and safe for everyone. Every day players alert us to potential Code of Conduct violations, prompting investigations that often result in a suspension. However, it’s not always easy to tell if another player has been suspended, and that can make it difficult to determine if your complaint had the intended impact. Rest assured, we are listening, and we want you to know that your feedback has been heard!

To help emphasize the importance that reports play in the enforcement process, XBLPET regularly sends Xbox Live messages to players who file complaints that result in enforcement. If you receive one of these feedback messages there’s no need to reply. We simply want to thank you for doing your part!

We regularly re-evaluate who receives feedback and under what circumstances, so if youhaven’t received a message before, don’t worry. Even if you haven’t received a feedback message, if you’ve witnessed a Code of Conduct violation and filed a complaint you’ve helped make Xbox Live a better place!

 

So if I file enough complaints against someone they’ll get banned?

Nope. As explained on our Enforcement Myths page, there is no set number or frequency of complaints that will result in a suspension. If a player receives numerous complaints but has not committed any Code of Conduct violation, no suspension will be issued. However, even one complaint can be enough to lead to enforcement action.

XBLPET takes every piece of player feedback seriously, but you should only submit a complaint if you believe a Code of Conduct violation has taken place. Falsified or excessive frivolous complaints are considered complaint abuse, and are treated as Code of Conduct violations in their own right.

 

I file plenty of complaints. Why don’t I get more feedback?

As mentioned, complaints don’t always result in a suspension. We appreciate you taking the time to file a report, but we need to evaluate the potential violation contextually and determine if the behavior is actually against the Xbox Live Code of Conduct or Terms of Use. Sometimes the observed activity does not rise to the level where enforcement is warranted. In other circumstances we may take action, but due to business, legal, or privacy concerns we may refrain from sending feedback. But no matter the outcome, your complaint is still taken seriously!

 

I received feedback. Does this mean the other player knows I complained?

Not at all! Your privacy and safety are important to us, and suspended players will never know who filed complaints against them. The last thing we want is for someone to retaliate against you for doing your part to keep Xbox Live safe.

For more information about how to file a complaint, check out the How-To section.

 

 


 

 

Applying XBLPET's Values

Published 4/28/2015

On the front page of our website we list the four core values that guide Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement: integrity, compassion, precision, and team. Though they may sound like vague buzzwords, these values are essential to XBLPET and influence every action that we take. When new enforcement agents join the team, they’re immediately taught our values and what they mean. Through these values you can gain considerable insight into XBLPET’s philosophy and the mindset of enforcement agents. Let’s take a moment to explain what each value means, in real terms.

 

Integrity

We are accountable for our actions; we must make consistent, unbiased decisions based on the best available evidence.

Every member of XBLPET is passionate about Xbox Live and the Xbox community, but when we’re considering issuing an enforcement action we remain impartial and objective. We rely on research, critical thinking, and evidence to guide our decisions, not personal biases. Accountability is essential to the enforcement process: suspensions are only issued when an enforcer determines an activity, content, or behavior violates the Code of Conduct and is a risk to the Xbox Live service and community. You will never see a ban issued “for no reason”.

We’re not robots; we are human and mistakes can happen on very rare occasions, but when a mistake occurs we do everything we can to make it right with the impacted player. We’re here to protect the community, and we never want to see an innocent gamer receive a suspension.

 

Compassion

The policy is our guide. We must do what is right, not always just what is written. Context matters.

The Xbox Live Code of Conduct clearly states what behavior is not permitted on the Xbox Live service. The Code of Conduct guides XBLPET’s policies and actions, but our team ultimately exists to uphold the spirit of the law, not just the literal text. In our role it’s important to know when to exercise compassion and discretion.

One of the most popular expressions amongst enforcement agents is “context is king”. It’s not just a nice sound bite, but a fundamental philosophy that applies to everything we do. For instance, when we review a potentially-offensive Gamertag we always examine the full context. Is the Gamertag immediately offensive? What else can it potentially refer to? Does the player have a history of offensive content? Critical thinking is important, and content doesn’t always fall cleanly into “good” or “bad” categories. Real life comes in shades of grey.

 

Precision

With authority comes great responsibility; we must be precise in our investigations, documentation, reporting, and application of enforcement policy.

Enforcement agents don’t take their responsibilities lightly. The decision to suspend a player is a serious matter, and for this reason we exercise precision in every aspect of the enforcement process, from the beginning of the investigation to the final action. We recognize that every piece of evidence is critical, and thorough investigations are the key to consistent enforcement policy.

Accuracy is equally important when it comes to documentation. Some players truly don’t understand why they received a suspension and come to our enforcement forums looking for answers. When this happens, we need to be able to quickly review all of the relevant data to provide a clear and understandable answer. Proper education through precise documentation can be essential in preventing Code of Conduct violations.

 

Team

Each individual is critical to our success. Each is trusted and empowered to do what is right. We learn from mistakes and always try to improve. We care deeply about our customer’s experiences on Xbox Live and are dedicated as a team to make it a safe and fun place to be!

People don’t join Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement because they want to wield the banhammer. They join because they’re fellow gamers with an intense passion for Xbox Live and the desire to keep their community safe. Every member of our team brings different experiences and perspectives that help us achieve our mission.

We also love to have fun! We’re gamers, just like you. We joke, shoot each other in Halo, and battle the Tweet Fleet for office supremacy. Code of Conduct violations are absolutely serious, but Xbox Live is all about fun and entertainment, and our goal is to preserve that experience.

 

 


 

 

Hammering out Enforcement Myths

Published 3/10/2015

The Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team strives for transparency and accountability with every enforcement action. We want you to understand our policies, and don’t believe anyone should be left in the dark when receiving a suspension. But there’s no denying that the enforcement process lends itself well to rumor and speculation, and over the years many myths have spread about our team. Some of these misconceptions are understandable, while others are a little more outlandish (we’re not robots!). Consider the following myths busted:

 

Will I get banned just because I received complaints?

No. A common misconception is that a certain number of reports will result in an automatic suspension. According to the myth, even if you haven’t done anything wrong someone can get you suspended by encouraging players to file many complaints. This is completely untrue.

XBLPET investigates complaints and takes each report into consideration when making an enforcement decision, but a certain volume or frequency of complaints doesn’t guarantee a suspension. We take an evidence-based approach to enforcement and take numerous factors into account when considering issuing a suspension. The context around the content or activity is particularly essential and drives our decision-making process. Simply put, there is no magic formula that instantly results in a suspension.

Despite what some may claim, XBLPET will never ever ban anyone “for no reason”. Suspensions always occur as a result of a specific Code of Conduct violation.

 

I wasn’t doing anything wrong when I got suspended. Why did this happen?

While some Code of Conduct violations are immediately resolved, XBLPET also conducts reactive investigations. Many of these investigations are triggered by player complaints. The Code of Conduct has no statute of limitations, and users may be enforced upon at any time for past offences.

A player may be offline (or playing single player) at the time of the suspension, but his or her online status at that particular moment may have no bearing on the reason behind the enforcement. If you receive a suspension and are not sure why it occurred, please check the email sent to your Microsoft Account or view your Enforcement History on enforcement.xbox.com.

 

Can I get a free Gamertag change by going to the enforcement forums?

Some users are under the impression that simply by inquiring about a forced Gamertag change in the enforcement forums XBLPET will provide a free Gamertag change. This is not the case.

While players are encouraged to post if they have questions about an enforcement action, posting in the forums does not in any way guarantee a free Gamertag change. In the past, a forced Gamertag change gave users the opportunity to change the offending Gamertag free of charge. Unfortunately, this gesture was prone to abuse, and many people simply chose new, equally offensive Gamertags. As a result, the Gamertag enforcement process changed. A forced Gamertag change now automatically assigns a new Gamertag to the account, much in the same way a system-generated Gamertag is provided when you first sign up for Xbox Live.

If a player is unhappy with the assigned Gamertag and wishes to change it, he or she may purchase a new Gamertag through the standard Gamertag change process.

 

I got a message saying I was signed in on another console when I was banned. Did I get hacked?

While it can be alarming to see a message indicating your account was signed into another Xbox right before receiving a suspension notification, it’s not indicative of a compromised or “hacked” account. This message is a product of the Xbox 360 enforcement process and does not literally mean that the account was signed into another console at that moment. It also does not mean that another player caused the suspension. Only XBLPET has the ability to issue enforcement actions, and if you receive a suspension it’s because we determined that the account committed a Code of Conduct violation, not because you were hacked.

However, if you have reason to believe your account may have been compromised or the actions that led to the suspension occurred while the account was outside your control, please visit the Compromised Account Solution Tool.

 

I don’t need to include any information when I post in the enforcement forums- they already know about my suspension, right?

Though XBLPET maintains comprehensive enforcement records, enforcers are not mind readers. We can’t adequately respond to forum inquiries if it’s not clear what questions are being asked or who they’re being asked about. If you wish to post an inquiry in the enforcement forums, please make sure to include the following:

  • The Gamertag that received enforcement action
  • The reason for the inquiry

Once we have this information, we'll be happy to assist you!

 

 


 

 

Staying Safe for Gamer Safety Week

Published 2/13/2015

For the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team nothing is more important than the safety of our players. That's why, in observance of Safer Internet Day 2015 and the fourth annual Gamer Safety Week, the Xbox Wire has published some best practices around keeping your account and online presence secure.

When it comes to safety there's no better time than the present, so check out the Xbox Wire and learn about account security and how it can work for you. By taking advantage of these features in a way that's right for you and your family, we can all contribute to a safe and fun online experience!

 

 


 

 

Enforcement Goes Next-Gen with Privileges

Published 12/1/2014

If you’ve visited our Xbox One & Xbox 360 Enforcement Guide, you may have noticed that some Code of Conduct violations can result in the removal of privileges on Xbox One. But what are privileges, and how is their removal any different from regular Xbox Live suspensions? Though you may not realize it at first, privilege suspensions allow Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement to enforce with a greater level of precision and compassion than ever before.

 

What are Privileges?

Privileges are the Xbox One’s way of determining what you can and cannot do on the Xbox Live service. Many of your activities on Xbox Live are tied to privileges. Whether you’re messaging your best friend after getting a Perfection medal in Halo, playing a multiplayer match in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, or sharing an awesome moment through Upload Studio, it’s all because you have the correct privileges enabled. Some privileges are associated with Xbox Live accounts, while others relate to the Xbox One console itself. 

Several of these privileges can be controlled by you. When you change your privacy settings, such as deciding who can message you or see your friends list, you’re actually changing your own privileges. Of course, you can enable and disable these particular privileges at any time. Other privileges, however, may only be removed due to an enforcement action.

 

How do Privileges change Enforcement?

Xbox 360 suspensions prevent wrongdoers from accessing the Xbox Live service, but it comes at the cost of not being very flexible. By leveraging privileges, Xbox One allows for far more granular enforcement than previously possible. Suspending select privileges can isolate a player’s inappropriate content or behavior without disrupting his or her entire Xbox experience. Some of the privileges that may be suspended as the result of a Code of Conduct violation include:

  • CreatingUpload videos
  • Sharing Kinect content
  • Playing online multiplayer
  • Joining parties
  • Communicating with other players
  • Sharing profile content

For example, if a user creates an offensive Upload Studio clip he or she will receive a privilege suspension temporarily removing his or her ability to create Upload content, but online multiplayer and other Xbox Live features will remain intact.

When a violation occurs across multiple accounts, console privileges may also be revoked. Unfortunately, some Code of Conduct violations require more severe action, so we still have the ability to issue temporary and permanent account suspensions that prevent the account from using Xbox Live for the duration of the enforcement.

As with any enforcement action, privilege suspensions only occur as the result of a thorough investigation by the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team. We don’t take any enforcement action lightly, and privileges only reinforce the importance of issuing sensible suspensions that are proportional to the violation. After all, we want you to enjoy everything that Xbox Live has to offer!

Precision is one of XBLPET’s core values, and privilege suspensions help ensure we meet that standard through an accurate and proper application of policy that nevertheless demonstrates compassion. Our toolset will continue to evolve to best serve the Xbox Live community, but with privileges we take a large step forward.

If you receive a privilege suspension or other enforcement action, make sure to check the email address associated with your Microsoft Account for additional details. You can also check your Enforcement History page to see any past or present account or privilege suspensions.

To learn more about how to prevent Code of Conduct violations, visit the Stay Safe section.

 

 


 

 

EA Sports Kicks FIFA Cheaters off the Field

Published 9/30/2014

Highly regarded for its intense gameplay and robust player management system, FIFA is one of Xbox Live’s most successful franchises. Through FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), gamers can bid on their favorite players, play in tournaments, and earn coins to build their own unique squad.

If you’re active in the FIFA community, you may have come across websites offering FIFA coins at low prices. These deals may be tempting, but be warned: buying or selling coins is cheating!

Our partners at EA Sports recently published an article at easports.com/playfair that demonstrates how bots and coin selling hurt the FIFA community. The article shows EA Sports’ commitment to the integrity and security of both FIFA and its passionate fanbase, and explains how the company combats acts of cheating.

Why is coin buying and selling a bad thing? It’s not fair, and it’s not safe. Coin selling disrupts the game experience for legitimate players and can give offenders an unfair advantage. Some coin sellers are also involved in phishing and may be a threat to your Xbox Live account and personal information. There are no authorized coin selling websites, and you should never enter your account’s email and password into a website that you’re unfamiliar with.

Likewise, you should never give your email and password to another user, even if they’re offering to do you a favor. That cool gamer who offered to duplicate your FIFA Ultimate Team players using some obscure glitch? Don’t be fooled; they’re just looking to scam you out of your account and players. For tips about how to best protect your account, check out xbox.com/security.

Since February 2014, EA Sports has banned hundreds of thousands of FIFA 14 accounts for coin selling and buying. However, cheating, phishing, and account theft aren’t just against EA’s Terms of Service; they’re also strict violations of the Xbox Live Code of Conduct. We’re committed to the integrity of our service and the security of every account, and users who take part in these types of malicious activities will continue to find themselves subject to Xbox Live account suspensions and/or Xbox console bans.

To learn more about EA Sports’ efforts to combat FIFA cheating, visit easports.com/playfair.

 

 


 

 

Status of Enforcement United Beta

Published 9/12/2014

Thanks for your participation in the Enforcement United beta! Since we launched the beta last year, you've helped provide valuable insight into our policies and how Xbox Live members can work together to make this community the best it can be. And collectively, you've provided over 6 million evaluations on Gamertag complaints! We have learned a lot and we're continuing to actively assess the incoming data. We'll continue to post updates here to let you know about any changes in the program as time goes on. In the meantime, the Enforcement United beta will remain in place and you can feel free to continue submitting responses.