Microsoft Explains "Gaywood" Ban

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Explains "Gaywood" Ban

Late last night, we learned the story of Richard Gaywood, the not-so-happy Xbox Live user whose gamertag was banned. Since "RichardGaywood" was both the user's gamertag as well as his legal, honest-to-goodness given name, Kotaku contacted Microsoft to learn the reason behind the ban.


Hit the jump for their response:

"We want the Xbox LIVE community to have the freedom to express themselves, but we also have a responsibility to create an inclusive, safe environment," said Microsoft's Stephen Toulouse. "While it may be clear to some that Gaywood is a legitimate surname, it may not be obvious to other Xbox LIVE members. In this case, a complaint was filed by a member of the community, requiring the Xbox LIVE team to examine the gamertag within the context of the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use. Based on the these guidelines, it was necessary for the gamertag to change."

Recall Toulose also referred to the XBL Terms of Use in explaining why user "TheGAYERGamer" received a ban, stating, "Gamertags are visible to everyone and it would be hard for me to defend to a parent of a young child who saw it that the name did not contain content of a sexual nature."

Finally, Microsoft confirmed to us that Mr. Gaywood's gamertag, like any other found to be in violation of the Terms of Use, will not be reinstated. Hope no other XBL users have legal names that might have the ill fortune to appear "sexual."


People need thicker skins and to realize that it's not everyone else's responsibility to prevent them from being offended. Also, "gay" does not necessarily denote anything sexual. No, I'm not speaking of "happy," I'm speaking of the fact that a gay person does more than have SEX with members of the same gender. They date, love, and live with members of the same gender. Sex is only a small, but too-heavily-focused-upon aspect of their lives. It's disrespectful to consider "gay" only in a sexual way.