Microsoft Introduces Content Filters that Blocks Offensive Language for Xbox

By Sean Carey,
Microsoft is introducing a new feature that automatically filters out swearing, insults and offensive language in private messages. The new system has already been rolled out for Xbox Insiders and will come to all users at some point this fall.


The feature incorporates four filter levels: Friendly, Medium, Mature and Unfiltered. These filters can be applied to different types of communication, so you could have one filter enabled for friends, and another filter for message request from people you don't know.

With the Friendly filter, it will detect and hide all swear words or offensive language with the placeholder text, [Potentially offensive message hidden]. A user can then decide if they want to view the message, or not. Friendly is also the default filter for all Child accounts, but the ability to view hidden messages will be turned off, the same goes for Teen accounts.

The Medium filter allows some vulgar words through and limits harsher words and phrases that could be considered bullying. Words like "shit" will be changed to "sh*t" while much like the Friendly filter, more offensive language is hidden by the same placeholder text, and can still be viewed if wanted.

For the Mature filter, the text filter will hide messages determined by Microsoft that is almost always considered harmful while the Unfiltered option leaves users open to all messages.

The filters will not only apply to Xbox One consoles but across both PC and Mobile.

You can find out more about the text filters over on Xbox Wire.
Sean Carey
Written by Sean Carey
Hey everyone! I'm Sean. I have been writing gaming content for various outlets over the past few years while studying a degree in Journalism. I grew up on everything PlayStation — mainly Metal Gear Solid, with a brief foray into the world of Xbox. Nowadays, you'll find me mainly playing multiplayer PC games, but with the recent addition of the Xbox Game Pass for PC, I'm looking forward to improving my TA Score.
Posts on this article have been added to a thread in the Industry News Forum.
  • vSullyvSully755,378
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 11:47Permalink
    It's 2019. Are people really still bothered by a little profanity top the point that crap like this is necessary?

    Oh, that's right. We've got to "protect the children."
  • kintariskintaris291,105
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 11:49Permalink
    vSully said:
    It's 2019. Are people really still bothered by a little profanity top the point that crap like this is necessary?

    Oh, that's right. We've got to "protect the children."
    Maybe it's OK to give people the option to see or not see what they want, Sully. It's really not so terrible.
  • Posted on 15 October 19 at 11:50Permalink
    vSully said:
    It's 2019. Are people really still bothered by a little profanity top the point that crap like this is necessary?

    Oh, that's right. We've got to "protect the children."
    Don't see what the problem is with giving people options. Just disable the filter and read swear words if that is what you are into.
  • x Mataeus xx Mataeus x904,272
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 11:50Permalink
    This is cool!
    "I gotta be honest, entering a bunch of 25 character codes to have gear spit out of the magic box kinda sucks" - Rista B
  • Sir KentysSir Kentys305,488
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 11:52, Edited on 15 October 19 at 11:53 by Sir KentysPermalink
    Meh. Why not.

    Well... "offensive" is subjective, huh ? It should be great to parameter what we find "offensive", and ban it from our Xbox homepage. I would personally begin with Ninja's face and the useless advertising I have to see despite the fact that we are on a fully paid service.
    (I try to do this with Facebook ads, works not so bad, and it's a "free" service )
  • x Mataeus xx Mataeus x904,272
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 11:53Permalink
    I wonder how good the filter is. Maybe all messages will just be changed to things like ¢uÑ7
    "I gotta be honest, entering a bunch of 25 character codes to have gear spit out of the magic box kinda sucks" - Rista B
  • ProscalineProscaline687,641
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 11:53Permalink
    vSully said:
    It's 2019. Are people really still bothered by a little profanity top the point that crap like this is necessary?

    Oh, that's right. We've got to "protect the children."
    I got ambassador status removed and banned for a day. For what? Messaging someone 'Fuck Off' who messaged ME talking shit in the first place.

    This is a welcome update.
  • Posted on 15 October 19 at 11:59, Edited on 15 October 19 at 11:59 by Yummy BaklavaPermalink
    It's *current year* and I am literally shaking! My grandparents fought for my right to freedom of speech and now Microsoft wants to take that away from me!

    REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

    /s

    Looking forward to all the temper tantrums and the inevitable "boycott" which will be forgotten in 72 hours.
    If users on this site searched before posting, the forums would be a much better place.
  • Posted on 15 October 19 at 12:01, Edited on 15 October 19 at 12:26 by Stinky Big BudsPermalink
    When anyone sends me an offensive message I just send back "Haha" I won't be turning the filter on, I lol that people take the time to write them in the first place. I almost enjoy getting offensive messages from people i've just owned :D

    This won't protect the kids anyway, they learn all their swear words at school. It wasn't to long ago I was walking past the primary school near me and two girls were surrounded by about 6 kids, one told the other in a parting insult to go home and F*** her dad, they must of been 10 years old. It's also the same school my youngest attends.
  • Posted on 15 October 19 at 12:04Permalink
    They may take my Swear Words, but they will never take my Freedom!
  • PukeyPukey309,826
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 12:11Permalink
    [Potentially offensive message hidden.]
  • SuperPed13SuperPed13323,064
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 12:15Permalink
    Words like "shit". Pmsl laugh
  • Posted on 15 October 19 at 12:25Permalink
    Now i'll have to insult the squeakers in party chat! laugh

    But seriously, this is a small but good thing overall.
  • MemesNBeerMemesNBeer119,033
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 12:26, Edited on 15 October 19 at 12:33 by MemesNBeerPermalink
    vSully said:
    It's 2019. Are people really still bothered by a little profanity top the point that crap like this is necessary?

    Oh, that's right. We've got to "protect the children."
    So you think it’s wrong for parents to protect their children from harassment? Not every person that plays video games is older than 14 genius. Also how does this negatively affect you in anyway? You must got nothing better to do if you feel the need to whine over nothing laugh
  • MemesNBeerMemesNBeer119,033
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 12:29Permalink
    Stinky Big Buds said:
    When anyone sends me an offensive message I just send back "Haha" I won't be turning the filter on, I lol that people take the time to write them in the first place. I almost enjoy getting offensive messages from people i've just owned :D

    This won't protect the kids anyway, they learn all their swear words at school. It wasn't to long ago I was walking past the primary school near me and two girls were surrounded by about 6 kids, one told the other in a parting insult to go home and F*** her dad, they must of been 10 years old. It's also the same school my youngest attends.
    What? You actually think the purpose of this tool is to stop kids from learning swear words? Jesus christ...
  • FoogaFooga1,261,982
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 12:30Permalink
    vSully said:
    It's 2019. Are people really still bothered by a little profanity top the point that crap like this is necessary?

    Oh, that's right. We've got to "protect the children."
    “Old man yells at cloud”
  • I NVIII II NVIII I500,358
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 12:32Permalink
    Lol, I'll still get some dumb cunt call me a hacker then when I tell them "Look at your ping you fuckhead" I will still get a comm ban. Taken shits tougher than some of the people you run into on Xbox these days.
  • MemesNBeerMemesNBeer119,033
    Posted on 15 October 19 at 12:34Permalink
    I NVIII I said:
    Lol, I'll still get some dumb cunt call me a hacker then when I tell them "Look at your ping you fuckhead" I will still get a comm ban. Taken shits tougher than some of the people you run into on Xbox these days.
    On black ops 3 I killed this guy’s whole team and he messaged me saying “fucking bad”, I reply back saying “eat my ass”. He then messages me back saying “reported”, I get com banned in less than 2 minutes
  • Posted on 15 October 19 at 12:39Permalink
    XGN AlexLol said:
    I NVIII I said:
    Lol, I'll still get some dumb cunt call me a hacker then when I tell them "Look at your ping you fuckhead" I will still get a comm ban. Taken shits tougher than some of the people you run into on Xbox these days.
    On black ops 3 I killed this guy’s whole team and he messaged me saying “fucking bad”, I reply back saying “eat my ass”. He then messages me back saying “reported”, I get com banned in less than 2 minutes
    That would be because in both cases you were the offensive ones...how can you not see that :D
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