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Stephen Toulouse, known to many as Stepto, is Microsoft’s director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live. That means he’s the guy with the biggest, baddest banhammer on that service, making him a prime target for grudge-nursing hackers. Apparently one just seized control of his personal website, stepto.com
You may have already seen this over the weekend, but if not, here’s a clip that reportedly shows an Xbox Live moderator by the name of “The Pro” suffering from a bad case of ban fever.
Stephen Toulouse gave a presentation at PAX that, like most of his outreach, leavened the dirty work of running Xbox Live’s banhammer ops with comedy. His sermon is about how the wicked “Poonhunter” came to be banned from Battlefield 1943.
Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, you’re French. And somehow, your local game store was selling copies of Halo: ODST weeks before it was meant to be out. Then Microsoft threatens action. You’d think “action” meant “XBL bans”, right?
For the civil, Xbox Live can be a wondrous place. Chatting with friends, gaming with loved ones over vast distances, the crossing of cultural and national borders, it’s just great. Indeed, it’s probably the strongest weapon in Microsoft’s console wars arsenal. Thing is, a lot of people on Xbox Live aren’t civil. They’re Asshats. And I’ll have you note that’s with a capital “A”. Bigotry, unfair play and general, well, asshattery amongst a lot of users mean that for every pleasant experience on Xbox Live you may well end up having one that’s thoroughly unpleasant. Maybe even offensive.
Which is where Stephen “Stepto” Toulouse (pictured, above) and his Xbox Live Police step in. Employed to fight injustice wherever it is found, serve the law and protect the (gold subscription customers’) public trust, Toulouse and his team are responsible for policing Xbox Live and enforcing its code of conduct policies across the globe. In other words, when you complain about someone over Xbox Live, the complaint goes to them. And if you get banned from Xbox Live, they’re the ones who banned you.