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

Monday, 22 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.”