Microsoft Explains "Gaywood" Ban

Late last night, we learned the story of Richard Gaywood, the not-so-happy Xbox Live user whose gamertag was banned. Since "RichardGaywood" was both the user's gamertag as well as his legal, honest-to-goodness given name, Kotaku contacted Microsoft to learn the reason behind the ban.

Hit the jump for their response:

"We want the Xbox LIVE community to have the freedom to express themselves, but we also have a responsibility to create an inclusive, safe environment," said Microsoft's Stephen Toulouse. "While it may be clear to some that Gaywood is a legitimate surname, it may not be obvious to other Xbox LIVE members. In this case, a complaint was filed by a member of the community, requiring the Xbox LIVE team to examine the gamertag within the context of the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use. Based on the these guidelines, it was necessary for the gamertag to change."

Recall Toulose also referred to the XBL Terms of Use in explaining why user "TheGAYERGamer" received a ban, stating, "Gamertags are visible to everyone and it would be hard for me to defend to a parent of a young child who saw it that the name did not contain content of a sexual nature."

Finally, Microsoft confirmed to us that Mr. Gaywood's gamertag, like any other found to be in violation of the Terms of Use, will not be reinstated. Hope no other XBL users have legal names that might have the ill fortune to appear "sexual."


    That's going overboard with political correctness. Next they will ban FairyPenguin, RockHard, Toulouse and MrFloppy or anything else that could vaguely in anyway be construed as sexual. What about Hardcore? I'm sure someone out there relates that term to porn rather than the over zealous professional gamer.

    At the risk of sounding xenophobic, that's what happens when the majority of people on your network belong to a country that's 40% evangelical christian, who find almost anything and everything offensive. It only took a single complaint, that's what I find offensive.

      Absolutely correct! Xbox live has become a place where pretty much anything will get you suspended. I say we start a mass protest against xbox live and boycott them. (All though that would be next to impossible with all the addicted gamers)

    Along similar lines (to show that this is really nothing new from MS), I have a friend whose has "nazi" as the last four letters of her surname.

    She is unable to register a hotmail account using her name because of this.

    This is what occurs when you have rules in place that do not discriminate valid uses of words (or simple chains of letters)

    I guess p0rn stars won't be using their real names as gamer tags, no Buck Nekkid or Dixie Normus around these parts

    What where his parents thinking!
    Dick Gaywood?

    He must have had such a fun childhood

    I bet "Eviscerator" would be fine as a tag though.

    Would i be able to register, I am also called Richard. With a surname of Head. But of course I like to use my shortened first name.

    What are Mircosoft going to ban next 'Entrances to the Garden' e.g. Gates.

    They are the REAL idiots.

    they are really ret.a.rded!!!

    How's about Virginia Scunthorpe? Look closely, people...

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