MS explains "theGAYERgamer" name ban

Not a result of anti-gay lobbying.

Xbox Live "banhammer wielder" Stephen Toulouse has explained the decision behind banning "theGAYERgamer" Gamertag.

Toulouse and his team deemed the name to contain sexual innuendo, which is against the Gamertag terms of use. They were not, apparently, swayed by the weight of complaints from what the "theGAYERgamer" said can be an anti-homosexual audience.

"We received a complaint on the Gamertag and determined that it did indeed contain sexual innuendo. Granted, there could be an argument that the text is not pejorative to homosexuality and should therefore be allowed. But there is no context to explain that," explained Stephen "Stepto" Toulouse on his blog (spotted by Kotaku).

"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."

"We do not take action based off the number of complaints, or how often people complain in a given day. Whether it's one complaint or 20, we will look at it the same way," he added.

Grant, "theGAYERgamer", mailed the Consumerist blog with a letter explaining he had just found out he would need to alter his Gamertag to continue to be allowed on Xbox Live.

He had first-hand experience of anti-homosexual comments directed his way during bouts of Halo 3, and so phoned Microsoft to determine if their complaints were the cause of the problem.

Grant was told that the "greater Xbox community" found his name offensive.

"To answer the question another way, yes 'TheStraighterGamer' or 'TheHeterosexualgamer' would have gotten the same treatment and would have been found to be in violation and forced to be changed. We've actually done that to tags like that before," Toulouse further explained.

"Racism, hate speech, bigotry, homophobia, all these things have no place on Xbox Live and are in violation of our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct."

Toulouse went on to reveal the "good news" that complaints like this make up a "tiny, tiny fraction" of a percentage of the total users on Live.

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