Microsoft has published an interesting – and occasionally unintentionally hilarious – exposé of its Xbox Live Enforcement team, headed by policy director Stephen Toulouse, or Stepto.
According to the article, contrary to popular opinion Xbox Live isn’t a den of iniquity.
“Looking at the stats, the cross-section of bad apples we deal with every day is small – typically less than one percent of the overall population,” Toulouse said.
“The user complaint volume has tended to stay relatively flat compared to the line of new users.”
Xbox Live enforcers use a tool called Vulcan 2 to quickly browse and deal with complaints and flagged content. This purpose-built software is navigable by control pad.
Prior to Toulouse’s founding of the current enforcement team, Microsoft had just one enforcer, who maintained a spreadsheet of complaints and actioned it once a week. Xbox Live had less than a million users in 2007 but rapidly grew to the point where Toulouse’s team became a necessity.
Although the team frequently jump in-game to police on the spot, their jobs don’t sound all that fun, regularly requiring contact with law enforcement, courts, and government agencies. Sometimes, the guys get so bummed by how awful people are that they have no recourse but lolcats to get them through the day. Toulouse says it’s worth it, though.
“They are absolutely passionate about safety on Xbox LIVE,” he said of the team.
“I personally believe that when you buy your Xbox LIVE subscription, you are getting us ‘free in the box.’ Microsoft has invested in us, and we are invested in trying to make sure the experience is good.”
Plenty more interesting reading through the link above.