Since the start of 2022, Microsoft has banned more than 7 million Xbox accounts for violating its community guidelines.

Not everything is easy for those lucky enough to play on the Xbox series X. As Microsoft released its first Digital Transparency Report (opens in a new tab)Turns out, Microsoft may have gotten a little fuzzy with the trigger.

From January to June 2022, Microsoft banned a total of 7.21 million Xbox accounts. 4.78 million of these bans were proactive and 2.53 million were reactive. This is more than the total number banned for the whole of 2021, which was 6.72 million.

The main difference between proactive and reactive is that proactive banning occurs before someone has reported an account, and reactive occurs after reporting. You would think that with the growing number of users on Xbox Live, the reactive ban statistic would increase. But this is not the case.

Bad reputation

It turns out that proactive bans have increased tenfold since the start of the year. At first glance, this may seem like an overreaction or even a mistake on Microsoft’s part, but in reality, it’s a good decision. Unfortunately, Xbox Live has earned a rather unfair reputation over the past decade as an extremely toxic platform.

In fact, everywhere on the internet it’s pretty toxic. Although Xbox Live is no angel, it is no different from other platforms that rely on online user interaction. However, that didn’t stop the stereotype from spreading.

Whether it is a massive culling of accounts or the establishment of chat filters to fight harassment (opens in a new tab). Microsoft is always trying to make its platform a better place for everyone, and in doing so, combats this unfair stereotype. This recent turn of events is therefore perfectly in line with its previous attempts to refresh the platform.

An Xbox Series X controller held with two hands

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Chikena)

Good news

It turns out that many proactively banned accounts were clearly disrupting the platform. Another breakdown of Microsoft’s report shows 199,000 proactive bans due to sexual content, 54,000 for bullying or harassment, and 87,000 for fraud. Even though no one has reported these accounts, no one will miss them anytime soon.

Any attempt to make a platform more enjoyable to interact with is a step in the right direction. While you may consider proactive bans unfair due to the lack of reports against them, Microsoft may actually need to increase this mindset in the future.

Apparently, the accounts banned due to phishing, hacking, and account tampering were 100% the result of Microsoft working proactively and not responding reactively to players reporting issues.

With fewer players reporting issues with accounts, Microsoft needs to step up its game to keep it clean. Otherwise, the platform would slowly fester and become more toxic. Just because players aren’t reporting issues doesn’t mean there aren’t any.


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