So you can’t have missed all the nonsense about this Consumerist article (I’m not going to dignify it by linking to it) that claims that “Teresa” said she was harassed on, and ultimately suspended from, XBox Live because she put in her profile that she was a lesbian.
It saddens me to no end how many people are upset about this.
Why? Am I a homophobe just like the entire Microsoft Corporation is (according to some comments I’ve read)?
No, quite the contrary. I’m rather disgustingly liberal, in fact.
But I do READ CRITICALLY. And I think about what I’m reading and I think about plausibility and I don’t believe something just because I see it posted on a website. I also understand the economics of websites and ad serving and page views.
Who is “Teresa?” No one knows. If anyone at the Consumerist knows, they aren’t talking or lending any credibility to their story. I don’t think they care. They got a juicy controversial story that has generated thousands and thousands of page views which has translated into “making their numbers” on ad revenue this week. Bully for them.
Teresa says “No one will help me get the word out about Microsoft’s anti-gay policy.” Well, don’t worry Teresa, the Consumerist will and all they need is your story to be juicy enough to get them page views…they don’t need anything as mundane as “facts” to convince them.
Mysterious Teresa. I’ll tell you who *doesn’t* know who “Teresa” is. Stephen Toulouse, Xbox LIVE Policy Manager. Y’know, the person who could fix the situation.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has an opinion about Microsoft’s anti-gay policy, too. XBox Live, Homophobia, and Online Gaming Policy
Sony, Microsoft, and many others have been trying to address this [using the word ‘gay’ in a derogatory fashion, and in general the shitty behavior of the online gaming community towards gays – pete] by putting policies in place to prevent subscribers from using the online shield of anonymity to harass, verbally assault, and generally defame others. Are they the best policies? No. Are they working to improve them?
In the case of Stephen [Toulouse] and Microsoft – they have been nothing but open, welcoming, and willing to discuss ideas for positive and inclusive changes during these conversations. Microsoft has invited GLAAD out to its headquarters in Redmond, WA, for multi-day meetings with developers, executives, and policy enforcers in the upcoming weeks.
Taking that Consumerist article at face value is just plain and simply stupid. If you read it and immediately became outraged at how some (as far as we know, fabricated) person was mistreated, then it’s time you took a moment and reflected a bit about how readily you accept stories as facts.
Your community needs you to think critically, people. Don’t be a sheep, don’t be a doormat. Ask questions, get facts, then make an informed decision about whether or not what you’re reading is true.
If Teresa’s story is true, then you are right to be outraged. But if its true, Teresa needs to come forward and back up her story with some facts.
I’ll end by duplicating Toulouse’s ending paragraph here…let’s get the word out:
Theresa from the Consumerist article, if you’re reading this, I don’t have your Gamertag or any information about you at all, the article was extremely vague. I’d love to get your feedback and talk to you about how we can make the experience better. Please email me at [email protected]
Damned anti-gays at MS…