Mircosoft have been left apologising to a small West Virginia town and a 26-year-old gamer accused of violating the online gaming service's code of conduct by declaring, via his Xbox 360 profile, he's from Fort Gay.
Josh Moore, an unemployed factory worker, found himself temporarily suspended from Xbox Live last week due to an offensive word in his profile. Moore lives in Fort Gay, a small town of under 1,000 people in West Virginia's Wayne County. A name that Mircosoft considered offensive.
Josh Moore said:
" At first I thought, 'Wow, somebody's thinking I live in the gayest town in West Virginia or something.' I was mad. ... It makes me feel like they hate gay people."
Stephen Toulouse, director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live responsed with the following:
"Someone took the phrase 'fort gay WV' and believed that the individual who had that was trying to offend, or trying to use it in a pejorative manner. Unfortunately, one of my people agreed with that. ... When it was brought to my attention, we did revoke the suspension."
Mircosoft have clearly made a stupid error, but it will make some of us wonder just how effective Mircosoft are at banning the right people. I suppose at least it has put Fort Gay on the map!