Microsoft has updated its community standards for players and included some examples of how - and how not to - behave online.
The standards - first noticed by Redditors on the r/xboxone subreddit (thanks, Motherboard) - indicate what kind of behaviour will be tolerated, and explains that even a single inappropriate message may lead to a suspension or restrictions (such as removal of ability to send messages) if it contains profanity, racism, threats of sexual violence, or other inappropriate language or conduct.
Repeat offenders - or if a player subjects another to particularly severe abuse - could result a permanent suspension, or even see the offender "forfeit all licenses for games and other content, Gold membership time, and Microsoft account balances".
"We get it - gaming can be competitive and interactions with other players can get heated," the community standards state. "A little trash talk is an expected part of competitive multiplayer action, and that's not a bad thing. But hate has no place here, and what's not okay is when that trash talk turns into harassment."
"Consider these standards a roadmap for contributing to this incredible, globe-spanning community. Remember: Xbox Live is your community. We all bring something unique, and that uniqueness is worth protecting," Xbox adds. "Whether you're brand new to gaming or have been playing for decades, we need you to be stewards of this place, to protect each other even as you compete. Because when everyone plays, we all win."
For instance, instead of retaliating with "only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. KYS, kid," Microsoft suggests you say "only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. Try again, kid" instead. Or if you've been beaten, don't message with "Cheap win. Totally expected from a [racial slur]" - instead, try "Cheap win. Come at me when you can actually drive without running cars off the road."
According to Xbox, it's okay to say "that was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked" in place of "Hey [profanity], that was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked, trash".
"We encourage showing off what makes you unique and awesome, but it's not cool to post something that keeps others from having positive experiences," the website says. "We aspire to a community where gaming can be enjoyed by all. Problematic content just gets in the way. If you're looking for a place on the internet to be overly edgy or get that rise out of people, Xbox isn't the place for you."
"Community Standards for Xbox, which launched [1st May], makes it easier to understand what kind of behaviour is acceptable on Xbox Live and what is not, and how to positively contribute to the global Xbox community to ensure it is safe, welcoming and inclusive of everyone," a Microsoft spokesperson told Motherboard in an emailed statement.
"The standards are not a new set of rules, but are a call to action that empowers every player to evaluate their behaviour and adjust accordingly in order to be a force for good."