Rolling out starting today to Insider preview members and coming soon to Xbox One owners everywhere, Microsoft’s new Xbox text filters give users the ability to tailor the level of offensive content they’re exposed to through private messages and, eventually, in profiles, clubs, and their activity feed. Don’t worry, “none” is an option.
Detailed in a post on the Xbox Wire website, the new “Message Safety” settings feature four levels of protection against offensive content. There’s “Unfiltered”, which just lets the profanity slide on through. “Medium” allows in some more common profanity while filtering harsher words or terms associated with bullying. “Friendly” is the lowest setting and the default for child accounts, automatically hiding profanity and offensive terms. “Mature” only hides terms and phrases Microsoft has determined are “almost always harmful” to those on the receiving end. When a message with offensive content per the user’s selected filtration level comes through, it is is automatically hidden.
Users can further tailor settings by applying one level of filtration to friends and another to strangers. Upon initial rollout, the filters will only apply to private messages, but Microsoft plans on implementing them across all methods of Xbox messaging, including Looking for Group (LFG) and Clubs. Some 21 languages will be supported at launch, with more added over time. The filters will work over PC and mobile Xbox apps as well as on the console.
The new filters are the latest step in Microsoft’s plan to make online gaming more friendly and “less hostile”. Nice to see an added layer of protection from internet creeps being laid down. Microsoft might have done this sooner, but hey, better late than never.