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Report: Xbox One Upload Studio users temporarily banned for swearing (update: Microsoft responds)

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Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Microsoft is seemingly issuing temporary bans to users of the Skype and Upload Studio apps on Xbox One who have used profanity, according to multiple reports on the Xbox One subreddit and on the Xbox forums.

Users are reporting that after uploading gameplay clips in which they swear through the Upload Studio app — or even swearing in a private Skype call, according to one Twitter user — their Xbox One prevents them from using the app in question with a message that asks them to "choose something else to play" because of their "past behavior" (see photo above).

At least a dozen Xbox Live users have posted in a thread on the Xbox forums saying they're dealing with the same issue. According to a number of them, they can upload footage of M-rated games that contain profanity, such as Battlefield 4, without any consequences.

"I made a video and said a bad word (not really a swear in my opinion, but I do understand their displeasure — the nickname of the name Richard) and now I am not able to put Kinect videos on my uploads or upload gameplay at all," said Reddit user MacedonianWolf, who noted that they were banned only from using the Upload Studio app and nothing else on the console.

MacedonianWolf explained in an update that they contacted a Microsoft representative and were told their Xbox Live account was in "good standing," that the Skype and Upload Studio apps seem to be suffering these issues and that the company was working to reverse the bans. In another update, the Reddit user said that the ban appeared to have been lifted after 24 hours.

Skype calls on Xbox One use the Kinect camera and microphone to transmit video and audio, while the Upload Studio app sends clips to the user's personal SkyDrive account. The Xbox Live Code of Conduct prohibits members from using "profane words/phrases" in their Gamertag, profile content, Avatar action, Avatar content or in-game content." However, profanity is not explicitly prohibited from content that Xbox Live users "share/create."

We're reaching out to Microsoft to ask about this, and will update this article with any information we receive.

Update: A Microsoft representative responded to our requests, explaining that the company does not monitor private Skype conversations — however, "excessive profanity" in Upload Studio videos will result in suspensions.

"To be clear, the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement team does not monitor direct peer-to-peer communications like Skype chats and calls," the representative wrote. "Also, we take Code of Conduct moderation via Upload Studio very seriously. We want a clean, safe and fun environment for all users. Excessive profanity as well as other Code of Conduct violations will be enforced upon and result in suspension of some or all privileges on Xbox Live. We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members."

It would seem the users who posted screenshots of their Skype application preventing them access received a full Xbox Live ban in another app, while reports of Upload Studio bans were potentially accurate. We've reached out to Microsoft again to find out how uploaded videos are being moderated, and will update this article with any additional information we receive.

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