Technology

Xbox transparency report reveals up to 4.78M accounts were proactively suspended in just six months

Microsoft has released its first Digital Transparency Report for the Xbox gaming platform, revealing that the company took proactive action against throwaway accounts that violated its community guidelines 4.78 million times within a six-month period, usually in the form of temporary suspension.

The report, which provides information regarding content moderation and player safety, covers the period between January 1st and June 30th this year. It includes a range of information, including the number of reports submitted by players and breakdowns of various “proactive enforcements” (i.e., temporary account suspensions) taken by the Xbox team. Microsoft says the report forms part of its commitment to online safety.

“We know that Xbox is a special place for all of you,” says Dave McCarthy, CVP of Xbox Player Services, in a press release. “We believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of gaming, free from fear and intimidation, and within the boundaries you set.”

The data reveals that “proactive enforcements” by Microsoft increased almost tenfold since the last reporting period and that 4.33 million of the 4.78 million total enforcements concerned accounts that had been tampered with or used suspiciously outside of the Xbox platform guidelines. These unauthorized accounts can impact players in a variety of ways, from enabling cheating to spreading spam and artificially inflating friend / follower numbers.

A further breakdown of the data reveals 199,000 proactive enforcements taken by Xbox involving adult sexual content, 87,000 for fraud, and 54,000 for harassment or bullying. The report also claims that 100 percent of all actions in the last six-month period relating to account tampering, piracy, and phishing were taken proactively by Xbox rather than via reports made by its player base, which suggests that either fewer issues are being reported by players or the issues themselves are being addressed before players are aware of them.

As proactive action has increased, the report also reveals that reports made by players have decreased significantly despite a growing player base, noting a 36 percent decline in player reports compared to the same period in 2021. A total of 33.07 million reports were made by players during the last period, with the vast majority relating to either in-game conduct (such as cheating, teamkilling, or intentionally throwing a match) or communications.

Microsoft says that Xbox Ambassadors (Xbox community members who assist other players with general support questions) were invited to preview and provide feedback on the report and that all information was collected in accordance with its commitment to privacy. The company will release a new Digital Transparency Report every six months going forward to share progress updates, alongside a continuing review of Xbox’s Community Standards.