Microsoft to ban ‘offensive language’ and monitor private data to ‘investigate’ users

“Microsoft is cracking down on what people say while using their services online,” CBS Dallas / Fort Worth reports. “According to a new services agreement written by the company, the tech giant is planning to ban accounts that use ‘offensive language’ and will go through your private data to ‘investigate’ users.”

“In a March 1 release, Microsoft is warning customers using Office, Xbox, Skype, and other products that the company is prohibiting offensive language and inappropriate content starting on May 1,” CBS Dallas / Fort Worth reports. “‘Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity),’ Microsoft warns in a portion of their new codes of conduct.”

“Microsoft also added that the company plans on ‘investigating’ users who are accused of violating the new policy and will block content from being sent to other people,” CBS Dallas / Fort Worth reports. “‘When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue,’ the new policy states.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: On March 21, 2018, EFF wrote:

Today was a dark day for the Internet.

The U.S. Senate just voted 97-2 to pass the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA, H.R. 1865), a bill that silences online speech by forcing Internet platforms to censor their users. As lobbyists and members of Congress applaud themselves for enacting a law tackling the problem of trafficking, let’s be clear: Congress just made trafficking victims less safe, not more.

The version of FOSTA that just passed the Senate combined an earlier version of FOSTA (what we call FOSTA 2.0) with the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA, S. 1693). The history of SESTA/FOSTA—a bad bill that turned into a worse bill and then was rushed through votes in both houses of Congress—is a story about Congress’ failure to see that its good intentions can result in bad law. It’s a story of Congress’ failure to listen to the constituents who’d be most affected by the laws it passed. It’s also the story of some players in the tech sector choosing to settle for compromises and half-wins that will put ordinary people in danger.

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

47 Comments

  1. Yet more government control designed to ban something or control somebody destined to fail. Prohibition didn’t work. Nor will this. They’ll just drive the bad guys underground and they’ll find other ways to communicate with each other. STUPID. Do these people think? Next there will be a wall on the Mexican border. Wise up America.

    1. Attention all governments: You aren’t (and never were) elected to force people how to think. Free speech rules…and yes, it’s going to offend someone.

    2. Not all regulation is evil. If all regulations were bad, christians wouldn’t harp on the 10 commandments and the constitutionalists wouldn’t turn everything into an acid test of 18th century law.

      It is odd that fans of new technologies don’t understand the need for new rules.

      Every year sports leagues are petitioned from all sides to fix rulebooks and enforcement. But step outside the arena and the same fans who demand better officiating become extremists who claim they want infinite freedom. There is a word for that: anarchy.

      It would be nice to discuss how to craft efficient regulations that benefit everyone for the long term rather than constantly having to start every discussion pulling the extreme right wingers here from their unworkable positions. Yes, this is the fault of the right wing because liberals have never proposed draconian regulation of social networks. Most people just want requirements for full disclosure so the end user knows what is happening on the other side of the screen. Is there something wrong with that?

      1. The US Constitution itself had to be amended to include free speech. And every year the US Supreme Court is petitioned to hear cases arguing a free speech right or restriction. Freedom evolves, especially free expression, in response to new technologies and social situations. There is nothing absolute about free speech except that it isn’t free—there are costs to enforce it, and costs to defend it. Furthermore, private communications media make their own rules. It is up to the market to determine whether these rules, like Microsoft’s, are tolerable; but they are not actionable. EULA covers their asses.

      2. Really? Right wingers? So the left isn’t constantly in a some sort of hysteria over an opposing opinion that offends them? Who becomes the legal arbiter of what is offensive? Not all regulation is evil (correct)…but to much is!

    1. Microsoft is a private company, not bound by the Constitution, which only applies to the federal government. What MS does or doesn’t do has nothing to do with the strength of the 1st Amendment.

  2. I wonder if Microsoft is going to inflict this upon the world, or just Apple’s home nation. Either way, it’s a sad day for free speech, though cunning linguists should be able to circumvent that. Then again there are those with super inflated egos that take offense at anything.

    I wonder if they are going to censor those who use all caps in their posts?

    1. Of course not. They may be stodgy but they are not complete idiots. And it was never a sad day for free speech, as you put it, at the Catholic schools I attended growing up. Smart mouths acquired bruises. In this way we all learnt the responsibilities of free speech, which have always outnumbered the blessings. That is as it should be. The tragedy of contemporary life is that everyone didn’t share my upbringing, and has an astonishing sense of entitlement, equal only to that of a two-year-old spoilt brat.

      1. I do not underestimate people to be idiots. After all look what your country did, over 200 years of history and then wham suddenly it has embraced torture. Pure lunacy in my opinion.

        Your comments about school reminds me of an experience I had along my path. Our science class had one of the other regular teachers fill in as a substitute teacher. I did not know her, but the guys really drooled on her cause she was a hottie. During class she told us that the moon was a star. Hand raised, given permission to speak I told her that the moon wasn’t a star because it did not generate it’s own light. The teacher tried to correct me saying that wasn’t the case since we could see the light of the moon at night. I persisted saying that the light from the moon originated from the sun and was reflected from the sun, thus the moon wasn’t a star. She refused to acknowledge that and I still persisted saying that it was in the text book. I even knew the chapter, as I was ahead in my reading.

        She refused, lost it, threatened me that if I did not stop from making a commotion that I’d be sent to the office. I held my ground saying that there was no need for commotion, if she referred to the definition of the text or even a dictionary she’d see that the moon wasn’t a start.

        That was it, she was fuming by this time and out I went to the hall then to the office where I was told to wait. It was my first to experience that, and the principal was quite surprised to see me in the waiting area as I wasn’t one to cause trouble. After class she came and went into the principal’s office and just trashed me while I waited outside. Needless to say when I got home that day my parents were really pissed off but I showed them what I was arguing about right from the book. I don’t know what happened in the background but that teacher never returned to my class to teach and she never apologized.

        So you are right, smart mouths acquire bruises, but that’s only part of it. Your statement beckons from who, who’s giving the bruising? From my experience smart mouths aren’t the ones usually handing out bruises. I’ll let you figure out who does the bruising.

        I’m a strong supporter of diversity, tempered with tolerance.I do not underestimate people to be idiots. After all look what your country did, over 200 years of history and then wham suddenly it has embraced torture. Pure lunacy in my opinion.

        Your comments about school reminds me of an experience I had along my path. Our science class had one of the other regular teachers fill in as a substitute teacher. I did not know her, but the guys really drooled on her cause she was a hottie. During class she told us that the moon was a star. Hand raised, given permission to speak I told her that the moon wasn’t a star because it did not generate it’s own light. The teacher tried to correct me saying that wasn’t the case since we could see the light of the moon at night. I persisted saying that the light from the moon originated from the sun and was reflected from the sun, thus the moon wasn’t a star. She refused to acknowledge that and I still persisted saying that it was in the text book. I even knew the chapter, as I was ahead in my reading.

        She refused, lost it, threatened me that if I did not stop from making a commotion that I’d be sent to the office. I held my ground saying that there was no need for commotion, if she referred to the definition of the text or even a dictionary she’d see that the moon wasn’t a start.

        That was it, she was fuming by this time and out I went to the hall then to the office where I was told to wait. It was my first to experience that, and the principal was quite surprised to see me in the waiting area as I wasn’t one to cause trouble. After class she came and went into the principal’s office and just trashed me while I waited outside. Needless to say when I got home that day my parents were really pissed off but I showed them what I was arguing about right from the book. I don’t know what happened in the background but that teacher never returned to my class to teach and she never apologized.

        So you are right, smart mouths acquire bruises, but that’s only part of it. Your statement beckons from who, who’s giving the bruising? From my experience smart mouths aren’t the ones usually handing out bruises. I’ll let you figure out who does the bruising.

        I’m a strong supporter of diversity, tempered with tolerance. It is our unique experiences that make us individuals.

        1. “I do not underestimate people to be idiots. After all look what your country did, over 200 years of history and then wham suddenly it has embraced torture. Pure lunacy in my opinion.”

          You have no clue what you are talking about.
          No wonder you spout off the stupidest shit on here.

          Embraced torture. Jesus, do you even get out into the real world or just believe everything bad about America you can to make yourself feel better?

          You have no awareness of history or what real torture is, just some fabricated meaning put together by one of the panels on one of the world organizations you blindly support made up of nations that use way more “enhanced” methods than America ever considered.

          You are the definition of pure lunacy.

          1. Well then please feel free to enlighten me. Are you saying that Apple’s home nation hasn’t embrace torture, that there is not Guatanamo on the Bay resort, that torture has been part of your history for a lot longer?

            If I have no clue, why don’t you elucidate me. You presume that I have no awareness of history or what real torture is yet you do nothing to rectify the situation.

            I don’t mind being the definition of lunacy, sure beats being a citizen of a terrorist nation.

            1. You didn’t mention in the 200 years of when you admired us anything about slavery (which Republicans ended), the Indian Removal Act (Democrat Andrew Jackson) the KKK (a Democrat institution) segregations (again, Democratic platform), the incarcerations of over 100,000 Japanese descendants (by a Democrat president), Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Democrat president), Vietnam War (Democrat Presidents), or the use of federal spy agencies to gather info on private citizens and public officials to sway votes or threaten with jail/embarrassment (the Blessed Obama).

              No, you drew the line here
              http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-11723189

              My point is in all the instances above (save for the KKK, segregation, and Obama) I can understand though in some cases not approve of their need.
              They are reflections of their times and needs and difficult situations that real men had to deal with who were trying to do the right thing for their country.

              Tortue to me leaves permanent physical damage or unrepairable mental damage and not just bad memories of when these people were sworn enemies of my country who had vowed to destroy it.

              If your idea of America changed under George W Bush then it was because of the media onslaught done to him just as it is to Trump and your weak mind fell for it while embracing all they said about Gore, Hillary and Obama.

              This is why I detest uneducated big mouths like you.
              You fuck-up the internet with bullshit.

            2. I may not have mentioned those items you brought up in my post but I have commented on some them elsewhere. When it comes to slavery, your dealings with Indians, the KKK, segregation, Japanese incarnation I’ll repeat what I’ve said before. That is the way your country dealt with it’s own internal affairs, and that is your business. I may not approve but I don’t really make an ongoing commentary of that. Plus I wasn’t around back then, what I am commenting on is a current affair.

              I can appreciate the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, after all the Japanese were torturing prisoners of war though they did not sign the Geneva convention so they did what they did and paid for it. Imagine the cost to a country that side lines the Geneva convention and tortures prisoners of war, relabeled enemy combatants. Vietnam, well from what I understand Apple’s home nation followed the Geneva convention but hey I could be wrong about that. I am not keen on the use of your country’s federal spy agencies to spy on others, again if your government wants to spy on your citizens, that’s your internal situation but the Snowden revelations on the extent of your countries spying on your allies, does not impress me.

              As I feel this is just a whataboutism I’ll toss in the Iraqi war, the one Bush started. Was he a demoncrat too?

              From the follow up of those who survived the Guantanamo on the Bay Resort seems to indicate that the damage is permanent. I find it amusing that you say that these people were sworn enemy of your country and yet for many of them there is no proof and many have been released. I’d even venture to say that there were those your country that incarcerated that were not sworn enemies of your country, for example Mohamedou Slahi who wrote the Guantanamo Diaries which shows just how much disdain your country has for justice of those not citizens of your nation.

              It is not so much the line that I drew, but rather the line that your country crossed shortly after the second 9-11, i.e. the invasion of Iraq and the embrace of torture. That’s the focus. Fifteen years later you are still murdering people, innocent people coming up to genocidal numbers and still, still no sight of that weapons of mass destruction program.

              Again you presume that I am embracing gorey, hilarious and obummer so let me say this again. Your nation has been uncivilized scum since the shrub, regardless of a demoncrat or repukkkhan presidents at the head. Your nation now operates on hate, you said it yourself, you detest uneducated big mouths like me. I don’t operate hate, I love the free and civilized world and I hope your country rejoins it someday.

  3. Super agree with the MDN take. The tech companies should have fought this tooth and nail, because once you start snooping and curating user communications, bad words during phone calls, you become liable for what you don’t catch. Second, this is just total assault on free speech. Horrendous.

      1. For what? If you clicked on the YouTube link you would see a disclaimer that states

        “The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.”

        followed by a button to accept

        “I UNDERSTAND AND WISH TO PROCEED”

        Of course I’m sure they apply this label selectively to humor from the right and then celebrate the hate I mean humor from the left…..

    1. Myself, I retained my gun to do my part to prevent violence to women. The guy in the cartoon qualifies for a Darwin Award. Charles Darwin himself couldn’t stand the sight of blood.

      1. Although I am an NRA member, I have never owned a firearm in my life. However, I would like to have one of those flame throwers that Elon Musk was selling.

        1. I think it’s legal to own them. A neighbor of mine tried using one to kill weeds in his orchard. I’m not an NRA member but I used to shoot at one of their ranges until their spokeswoman’s rhetoric became too extreme for my delicate sensibility, and I filed a note of estrangement and quit their facility. Now I enjoy the simple pleasures of shooting tin cans with a sawed-off shotgun. The neighbors applaud and cheer with each blast.

  4. Aaaand, Microsoft continues to edge out even Google as a service provider I won’t allow within ten miles of me. It’s been this way for me since the 90s. They are scum, pure and simple. Absolutely nothing has changed in Redmond since Gates and Ballmer left, they are as insidious as ever. No thanks!

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