Microsoft bans swastika-using Live users, move is “not political correctness”

Monday, 22nd November 2010 12:35 GMT By Johnny Cullen


Microsoft has defended its decision to ban anyone from Xbox Live using a swastika as an avatar in Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Live police boss Stephen Tolouse said the move isn’t meant to be “political correctness”.

“It’s not political correctness, it’s fundamental respect,” he said in a post on his blog.

“If you think the swastika symbol should be re-evaluated by societies all over the earth, I think that’s great. 

“Your Xbox LIVE profile or in game logo, which doesn’t have the context to explain your goal, is not the right place to do that.  And by the way, that doesn’t just go for the swastika, it applies to many other symbols as well that my team does indeed take action on when we see it.”

He continued: “Let’s be clear: no educated human on the planet looks at the swastika symbol on a video game service in ‘the year we make contact’ and says ‘Oh, that symbol has nothing at all in any way to do with global genocide of an entire race and, even if it did, one should totally and reasonably ignore that because it’s a symbol that was stolen or coop-ted from religions.’

“Indeed, my twitter stream was filled with people stating that Xbox LIVE should equally ban the star of David, the Christian cross, and yes I am not kidding, the infinity symbol because under various niche interpretations of those symbols, they are as evil as the swastika symbol and I should apply ethical relativism to all symbols on Xbox LIVE to respect all viewpoints because of the United States First Amendment.”

“Yes we can have the discussion in other venues about the double meaning of various terms, something my team does every day. But for many topics, its kind of a no-brainer.”



  1. tdrules

    Wait people are defending the decision to use a swastika?
    I’m all for freedom of speech, but people who have swastika emblems are using it for provocation.
    Also seen a fair few BNP clan tags, yet no Lib Dem or Labour ones.
    Funny that…

    #1 4 years ago
  2. scuz

    Ban this filth

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Moonwalker1982

    A friend of mine thought it was cool to make one of these in Black Ops, and he did. I told him, i wouldn’t be surprised if you get banned and frankly i won’t shed a tear neither.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. StaceyEmerson

    @1 very true

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Anders

    @3 “Cool”? Do me a favor and buy your friend a history book for christmas.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Psychotext

    I wonder how quickly the pornographic ones will get people banned? :D

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Crysis

    For thousands of years before the Nazis, this symbol meant ‘good’, i think everybody needs to chill out about this, though i would be slightly offended if people were using this symbol in a public display for Anti-Semetic shit, racism is where i draw the line. I will put up with words like ‘fuck’ & ‘cunt’ but racist words like ‘nigger’ will earn you a back handed slap of disrespect (aka a pimp slap)

    #7 4 years ago
  8. undeadwolfy

    What I don’t get is that Treyarch have the Swastika all over the place in their first zombie map. Apparently “Nazi Zombies” were removed from the German edition or WaW because of “Nazis” which is why it was removed.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. xino

    people are farking retarded!
    they love defending something that is wrong!

    gaming is all about having fun, we don’t need sex, drugs, violence etc in them. Yet people will defend the right to do so because movies contain them.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. DSB

    I don’t like censorship, but personally I don’t think political symbols of any kind have any use in gaming. The fewer there are, the happier I am.

    It was ironic to see how many racists were using the “Great White North” tag in MW2 though. As if that wasn’t completely predictable.

    @8 Germany has some of the harshest obscenity laws in the world when it comes to nazi symbolism. I don’t recall if you can get fined or jailed for wearing a swastika, but it’s one or the other. Either way – you remove the swastikas from your game, or it doesn’t come out in Deutschland.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Crysis

    violence is fun in games, never played a video game where drugs & sex were ‘fun’ but they were nevertheless a large component of many AAA games…

    #11 4 years ago
  12. bugmenot

    as they guy mentions the swastika is a widely used religious symbol. in its black and white on red setting its context is german national socialism in its native setting its meaning is a spiritual one. better to ban the colour scheme not the symbol itself.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Gheritt White

    I’m a Jew and I couldn’t give a shit. It’s only a bloody picture, ffs. If anything it helps us identify all the cunts out there so they can be easily rounded up on the day we Jews take over the worl…

    …you didn’t hear me say that.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. DSB

    ^^ Oh snap, it’s teh ZOG!

    #14 4 years ago
  15. XxT_I_K_IxX_PR

    So they’re gonna ban the pornographic ones too right? There are a lot of them XD I don’t mind them I think they’re funny for example (PS3) I saw 1 of a Horse f****ng a Lama lol and many of others but you know there’s no need for that stuff :D I’m going to report one of my friends who has one of those porno emblems to see what happens >.> lmao but seriously =P

    #15 4 years ago
  16. polygem

    i use a selfmade “om” symbol also red white and black. i love to play around with the playercard editor. people should use the swastika flipped/mirrored then it would have it´s original indian meaning – way better for your karma guys. using nazi symbols is sooooooo uncool. ouch.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. polygem

    @10: indeed. if you use nazi symbols in germany you are in serious trouble. it´s a big deal. you really can end up in jail if they catch you more than just once using them.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Gekidami

    I have actually seen a few, i’ve seen an “SS” one to.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. DaMan

    if swastika is associated with genocide, they better ban the soviet symbols as well.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Gekidami

    The hammer and sickle is banned in some countries. No idea where MS’ or games in general stand in those places though.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    What’s next, banning the cross because it evokes “emotional response”? That’ll be the day…

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Erthazus

    “they better ban the soviet symbols as well”

    For what? *facepalm*

    #22 4 years ago
  23. DaMan

    @Dr G exactly it’s like with lgbt. they just don’t want anything that can potentially put MS in a bad light, so they ban it altogether.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. DaMan

    Erzatwat – oh, I knew some idiot would say that.

    pseudo patriot. anything associated with Josef Stalin, Beria or anyone from that group.

    #24 4 years ago

    @ SticKboy:

    Really?? lol!

    You are now my favourite Jew, after Lieutenant Columbo and Judge Judy.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Gheritt White

    @ 25: it’s all true, I swear by the Star (shield, actually) of David.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Erthazus

    “oh, I knew some idiot would say that.

    pseudo patriot. anything associated with Josef Stalin, Beria or anyone from that group.”

    Learn the history idiot. It has nothing to do with Josef Stalin or pseudo patriot. Except that these people lived in that period.

    That symbol still exist in three Russian cities flags to this day. It’s a symbol of the unity between industrial and agricultural workers.

    Swastika on the other hand is used as a symbol of Nazism.
    Or go better read wikipedia or encyclopedia i don’t know.

    MS or other countries except ONE country don’t ban it for the same reason.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. DaMan


    swastika has been used long before nazis even thought about it. point is that if the genocide of jews or anything from the WW2 era is the only things that are associated with it, they should as well ban the hammer and sickle.

    no, that ‘s not why. it’s because Germany chose to acknowledge what their ancestors did, while Russia chose not to.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Erthazus

    @28, “swastika has been used long before nazis even thought about it.”

    True, but the picture of it is a little bit different from the Nazi that is used for genocide or destruction. Thats ehy MS or other countries ban it.

    MS don’t ban original Hindu form.

    Fact remains that Hammer and Sickle is a symbol of the unity between industrial and agricultural workers and it’s still exist in three Russian territories to this day and will exist. Nothing bad about it.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Johnny Cullen

    Ladies. Keep it civil, innit.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. DaMan

    it’s funny, swastika is swastika. try using the other version of lt on XBL, something tells me it will be the same as with that chick who said she’s a lesbian. MS merely don’t want to do anything with that stuff.

    where does that thing exist in Russia? apart from the KPRF? they ‘re even changing the names of all of the Ussr city names and everything.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Erthazus

    “where does that thing exist in Russia?”

    In 3 Russian territories such as symbol on the sign or flag. You can also find them in wiki Hammer and Sickle page.

    1) (flag)

    2) (on the flag)


    “MS merely don’t want to do anything with that stuff.”

    If they are going to ban Hindu form they are going to expect law suits :D i’m sure.

    #32 4 years ago
  33. DaMan

    ah, that’s what you meant. those were obviously formed during the soviet era. I thought by this time they ‘ve reversed pretty much every one of those to the tsarist Russia names and blazons.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. RoboJesus

    … the fuck? Swastikas were used LONG before the Nazi Party, I don’t know how they are politically incorrect. People are just oversensitive nowadays.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. DSB

    You don’t know “how” they’re politically incorrect, RoboJesus? Really? Really?

    I think you need to talk to Anders, he’s got some history books for you.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. cookiejar



    #36 4 years ago
  37. DarkElfa

    Wasn’t it “attempted” global genocide? If I remember my history correctly, Hitler didn’t actually succeed in his plot.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. OrbitMonkey

    This thread is a fascinating insight into how some of today generation completely miss the fucking point *shakes head*

    #38 4 years ago
  39. OwningXylophone

    For everyone trying to say they can’t/shouldn’t do this, check your Xbox Live T&C’s. The following is on the list of offenses that can result in you access to XBL being revoked:-

    “Create a Gamertag, avatar or use text in other profile fields that may offend other members. This includes comments that look, sound like, stand for, hint at, abbreviate, or insinuate or relate to any of the following: profane words/phrases, topics or content of a sexual nature, hate speech (including but not limited to racial, ethnic, or religious slurs), illegal drugs/controlled substances, or illegal activities”


    From Wikipedia: “Of the world’s 15 million Jews in 1939, more than a third were killed in the Holocaust”

    Sounds pretty successful if you ask me…

    #39 4 years ago
  40. theevilaires

    Thats what you get for paying to play online ;) But really I agree with Gheritt (aka stickboy) who cares. Its ok to play and kill NPC’s wearing the swastika in the same series but not online players wearing them!?

    Do any of you retards even read M$ BS policies for playing games on live and then go hey wtf I’m paying for this service I should be able to represent myself as I want. Is PSN banning anyone for this? I Love how we all have to kiss the jews ass and protect them from the horrors they went through during WWII but African Americans were treated much worst and enslaved for over 400 YEARS!

    Is M$ banning anyone who has a confederate flag as their symbol in COD:BO…..HELL NO! And their excuse will be because the flag doesn’t represent blah blah blah (yes it does jack asses) but the swastika was meant as a symbol of peace long before the nazis right?!. So if you can prejudge and assume people are using it for a hate message then you can also apply that theory to the people using the confederate flag.

    I swear I’m really starting to hate M$.

    1st: they rise the price of LIVE because of ESPN which no one uses

    2nd: they evade your privacy and spy on you with Natal

    3rd: you can’t even enjoy your damn games despite them lying to you saying XBOX360 LIVE was the best place to play COD:BO

    Lesson of the day: Switch over to PSN XBOTS :D

    #40 4 years ago
  41. cookiejar

    Oh god.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. Tallon 4

    I saw a swastika too in BO.
    Glad they banned the morons

    #42 4 years ago
  43. Psychotext

    “I swear I’m really starting to hate M$.”

    Only starting to? I’d hate to see what you’re like when you really get going. XD

    #43 4 years ago
  44. OrbitMonkey

    @40 This is a intervention, whatever your taking, stop. It’s making you sound like a cunt.

    #44 4 years ago
  45. theevilaires

    @43 :D I’m just saying they are getting too cocky like SONY back in the PS2 days. And you know what I said above stands ground. banning people over this is stupid. Its like these ass holes with 9-11 who keep holding annual remembrance of the damn thing. STOP! Its over for fucks sake. (NEXT YEAR BETTER BE THE LAST DAMN YEAR TOO I SWEAR)

    If there’s all these people who still want to feel hurt and sad for the jews when seeing the Swastika then lets talk about all the hurt and sadness the Native Americans feel on Christopher Columbus day who almost were all killed off by the euros who back stabbed them and stole their land HUH! YEA LETS GO!

    Wanna feel bad for the jews who were held captive and nerved gas right!? Lets feel bad for the strongest African American slave women who were made an example of by their slave owners and having their babies carved out of their stomachs and the dead fetus bashed across a tree to scare all the other slaves to stay in check….oh can’t talk about that shit huh, thats what the confederate flag means right? Or does it mean something else now? I’m pretty damn sure its in COD:BO and not a damn thing is being done about it.

    The point I’m trying to make is M$ are just plain fucking ignorant and bias. The Swastika should not be a reason to ban people for playing a game that gives them the tools to make the same image that is presented in other COD games whether NPC or not. If anyone here or online period is so offended by words or images they may see on the net to jump out and say hey that offends me I’m a Jew then you deserve to be offended.

    No one here knows your race or height or size or whatever until you put it out there. So do everyone a favor and shut up. The past is the past let it go.

    #45 4 years ago
  46. theevilaires

    @44 Shut up please. you’re a prime example of the dumb ass who wants to change the subject and topic that the world needs to deal with and just let it go once and for all.

    If you’re going to ban the Swastika then ban other forms of hate like the confederate flag too.

    #46 4 years ago
  47. Epic Fool

    “global genocide”


    A sound plan.

    #47 4 years ago
  48. OrbitMonkey

    @46 No my friend, when you suggest all the freedom loving arseholes who like to use Nazi tags to shock, should switch to psn, then your the dumb ass. Plenty of fucko’s on psn without thier banner boy calling for more thank you. Oh & was that you having a pop at the Jews, because of the slave trade that ended 200 years ago? Dumb ass. In fact the whole tirade where i guess you wanted to come across as some well informed man of the world, but was just another of your tired rants at MS kinda made you sound like a dumb ass.

    #48 4 years ago
  49. Callum

    It’s painfull to see people arguing with their facts based on WIKI-FUCKING-PEDIA.

    Just to prove a point, I am currently editing an article on WW2 and I am blaming it all on VG247. It was all Pats fault the bastard.

    Guys, get yourself some books. Or a kindle or something.

    #49 4 years ago
  50. OrbitMonkey

    @49 A book? & miss all this lively mastur-debate-tion? Crazy talk!! O_o

    #50 4 years ago
  51. DarkElfa

    @39, Actually it wasn’t. Genocide is the complete extermination of an entire race. 1/3 isn’t complete, it’s 1/3. IOW, it was attempted Genocide, not completed Genocide.

    It may be apples and oranges but I’m still correct. If your friend slashed his wrists and was sent to the hospital where he was saved, he didn’t commit suicide did he? No, he attempted suicide and failed.

    Hitler attempted Genocide and he failed. It doesn’t mean he wasn’t a bastard, just incompetent.

    #51 4 years ago
  52. OrbitMonkey

    @51 As well as being a incompetent bastard, apparently Hitler only had one ball, the other was in the Albert Hall…

    #52 4 years ago
  53. obviouslyme

    “Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.”
    It was genocide. Get your head out of your ass. The word was created at the end of the second world war to refer to the atrocities committed against jews.

    #53 4 years ago
  54. lexph3re

    @callum you maybe able to edit it because information is always changing due to surfacing facts. But, it doesn’t change the fact your edit will be more then likely changed back to what is in turn fact. And, the swastika is the swastika as for the other interpretations of the symbol are just that. As the cross is a symbol to christians for jesus’s sacrifice. To the romans it was a symbol for punishment to offenders.

    The symbols relevance is only to the eye of the beholder. And, an uneducated(as well as educated) eye will see it for what is relevant to them. I see the cross I see the punishment not the sacrifice even though I’m sort’ve a christian.(I also, see it as a form of idolotry though). In the end though it should be left to the people to decide the meaning of the symbol as opposed to the corporation(microsoft).

    #54 4 years ago
  55. Callum

    Lex, you are right, and what ever I change will be reviewed by a trusted source and changed back. However, my point is still valid, wikipedia is not a valid source!

    #55 4 years ago
  56. KingCancer

    hmm who has the bigger penis hitler or jesus? I think the answer is clear and with that I have solved the whole problem.

    #56 4 years ago
  57. expose the core

    Finland has been using the swastika long before the Germans made it notorious and still do, i bet someone will use the finnish swastika and get banned. I eagerly await the whining it would cause here.

    #57 4 years ago
  58. BillyBatts

    @52 This fanciful theory was discredited some time ago. The latest modern studies have show that it was in fact consumed by fishes, along with some scallops.

    #58 4 years ago
  59. OrbitMonkey

    @57,58 Well you learn something new everyday :b

    #59 4 years ago
  60. albo88

    why did they put it them?
    wow how retards this jews are first they make all this ww2 games then they band swastika

    #60 4 years ago
  61. OrbitMonkey

    @60 Well done!! Against stiff competition YOU have posted the most stoopid comment on this thread!! Way to go champ :D

    #61 4 years ago

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