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Use a swastika on Xbox Live and you'll be banned, even if you've read the Wikipedia entry

Use a swastika in your XBL profile, or as your Black Ops multiplayer emblem, and Xbox Live will ban you. No exceptions.

"It’s not political correctness, it’s fundamental respect. If you think the swastika symbol should be re-evaluated by societies all over the earth, I think that’s great. Your Xbox LIVE profile or in game logo, which doesn’t have the context to explain your goal, is not the right place to do that," said Xbox Live's Stephen Toulouse on his blog.

Toulouse has been inundated with arguments for allowance of the symbol after being asked on Twitter if it was acceptable to use it in Black Ops. Arguments included that symbol should be treated like the Star of David or the Christian cross. "No educated human on the planet" would honestly believe all those symbols are equal, he says, and he stresses that context is what's important in this matter (e.g. using a swastika as your in-game identity is not the same as writing an essay about its origins).

Whether you think it's justified or not, Microsoft has the right to control its Terms of Use, and it shouldn't be hard to figure out why the company would like to avoid the display of swastikas by users. But more important is Toulouse's rant on the mindset of many of XBL's censorship critics, because it's funny:

"You know the type I mean. They’ve read an article that’s contrarian to some position widely held, or they’ve found some obscure fact that contradicts common interpretation. Some of them claim to have known it as innate fact, others claim it to be widespread common knowledge taught to every single person in elementary school. Of course, usually neither is true at all. Most of them are just contrarians. They would never dare to wear a swastika openly, but they love to argue about how the world has 'misunderstood' this symbol. Or they view any opportunity for human interaction, no matter the appropriateness, to push their point."

What? That never happens on the internet!

Nov 22, 2010

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75 comments

  • EarlyGrayce - November 27, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    I find all religious and many governmental groups as offensive as one another so banning hindus or nazis is okay as long as they ban christians, catholics, zionists, islamists, democrats, republicans, whomever the hell is currently running Egypt, that Banana guy that is running Fiji at the moment, etc.
  • Howetzer - November 24, 2010 12:16 p.m.

    @ Hank Hank you may be right, I really dont even know if that symbol is on there in of itself or not, hell Hank I dont even have an Xbox and never will because I feel M$ screws its customers and therefore I would never want to be involved with their product to begin with. I guess even if they have subverted a plus sign with added layers or w/e they are doing to create the swastika my simple point is: Its still possible to do no matter how you look at it right? It's basically the same as saying " Here is a creative tool that you guys can use to make whatever personal symbol you choose to identify yourselves with...have fun guys! Oh we forgot....not THAT symbol though! DAS IS FORBOTEN! You must make other symbols with this tool!" As I said it's hypocritical and that's what I really don't like. @Finder Keeper you may be right they may ban and remove the whole tool, that would be a mistake I think, but I don't think it's right to be able to control what people make with the tool they have supplied and the companies have allowed people the access to. If its like a shopping mall Finder, then the shopping mall has put out an advertisement saying, "HEY Everyone! Come paint ANYTHING you want on our walls!! It'll be sooo fun everyone! Come on! Anything you want to paint on our walls is just fine! Let everyone see your creative side!......Oh wait NOPE! Not THAT symbol though! Are you insane!? Why would you think you can draw THAT symbol!? Please exit the facility NOW! Thou art Banned!" If I have failed to illuminate the hypocracy here I am sorry, I've done the best I can think of. For the record I certainly am NOT saying that private property rights should be ignored or that they shouldn't be able to control what happens on their property, but I hope you are seeing my point that they have kind-of asked for it if you know what I mean...not that that means people should be able to just do whatever they want because they "asked for it" but I think you get my drift. It may be "public domain" but is it right to do what they've done? Thats my question.....
  • FinderKeeper - November 24, 2010 3 a.m.

    Again, there's NO freedom of speech (in this case, artistic depiction) when a privately-run corporation runs the show. If the Xbox Live admins don't want it, it's gone. I'm guessing that eventually Treyarch will release a patch that removes the emblem editor and wipes out ALL the user-created emblems, genitalia and all. If a considerable portion of gamers abuse the privilege of having the game editor, not just for swastikas but for cartoon pornography, then the whole group (playing CoD:BO in this case) will likely have that privilege taken away. Those who get banned have no reason to complain; those who defend the use of swastikas, etc. as gamer IDs have no legitimate argument against the gaming platform's decision not to allow them. People can privately display swastikas if they choose inside their own homes, but once in the public realm there are other considerations besides "freedom of speech". And without a shred of doubt, those who display swastikas (or genitalia) as their in-game emblem *IN AN ONLINE COMMUNITY* are deliberately doing so in the public realm. In this case, it's not like being in a public square or park, but more like being in a store or shopping center. It's still a "public realm" where people gather, but it's privately owned. No one has complete freedom of speech or action on privately owned property (or in this case, a privately-owned gaming community). Period.
  • HankVenture - November 23, 2010 10:38 p.m.

    And it will never be any other symbol probably no matter what is connected to it, the Cross w/e. Even though they both have death attached to them you don't go directly to that thought. With the cross you think Jesus or Christians no matter if you hate them or not you don't go OO millions of people from hundreds of years ago died because of that. The confederate flag has more of chance to get banned but it never will be because it is still a big part of our culture and is used to show southern pride instead of being a raciest. I have MANY black friends that wave the Confederate Flag because people from the south are proud of where they came from.
  • HankVenture - November 23, 2010 10:30 p.m.

    I'm trying to look through list of Emblem choices and I'm not seeing a swastika (just correct me if I'm wrong about that). So that Means people are taking a plus sign twisting it around and adding layers to make a swastika. If there actually is a swastika symbol then Microsoft and Treyarch fucked up big time. fnds that offensive..take it out. @Howetzer If the Symbol is supplied for the players to use then Yes Microsoft are sorta in the dumbass group for letting it go by them and not thinking " O hey this is offensive and wrong take it out." But I'm pretty sure it was something the community credited by adding layers to the playercard so you can't just deny a game because players might abuse a system in some sorta way that you don't know at the time. Like I said though if this is a symbol you can use then yeah Microsoft and Treyarch fucked up. If anyone is upset for the simple fact that they want to use the Symbol then you are just a loser who wants to go against "the man" and you might want to grow up
  • NullG7 - November 23, 2010 9:51 p.m.

    I hate these stupid arguments. Putting a swastika on your profile is like fixing your pickup truck with ducktape. Either you were a lower income redneck or you are just a cheap bastard. Either way pepeole will think you are a redneck regardless of your reasoning, so I have some Advice... GET OVER IT YOU DUMB IDIOT A SYMBOL IS SOMETHING THAT REPRESENTS ANOTHER THING, NAZIS ARE REPRESENTED BY THE SWASTIKA THEREFORE THE SWASTICA REPRESENTS NAZIS REGARDLESS ON ANY OTHER THING IT IS CONECTED TO SO SIT DOWN SHUT UP AND ACT LIKE A RATIONAL HUMAN BEING.
  • LordPwnge18 - November 23, 2010 8:36 p.m.

    oh my word, this is just hilarious. i wonder what they are going to do with all of the male genitalia?
  • wind869 - November 23, 2010 7:58 p.m.

    so i take it that when somebody make a symbol of a giant dick with hair balls, or a guy finishing off a horse with cum on the guys face, or my favorite a gorilla giving it to a pig and horse with a guy giving the horse a hand job, yeah the swastika is the worst thing that ppl can make with the symbol maker.
  • atomicsandman - November 23, 2010 6:46 p.m.

    Guess I'll have to change my emblem then. But srsly, this kind of thing could just go on forever. Somebody already mentioned confederate flags, but pretty soon it'll be anything related to religion or politics. I'm not saying that I don't agree with it but M$ may be entering controversial waters with this one.
  • kikingbird - November 23, 2010 4:51 p.m.

    My friend and I noticed the swastika on somebody's PSN Black Ops profile. We were like NERRR! Ticks me off personally that Treyarch would but such a heinous and controversial symbol on multiplayer- yes, campaign, I could see that. I'm glad that Microsoft XBL is doing that, so should PSN.
  • TheSpaceHerpe - November 23, 2010 4:40 p.m.

    @RavingRudeboy. Sorry buddy, but the original meaning of it is still used to this day and is one of the most commonly used symbols in the world.
  • jameshalsey - November 23, 2010 4:29 p.m.

    Good.
  • xerroz - November 23, 2010 4:10 p.m.

    people always making a big deal out of nothing.
  • Howetzer - November 23, 2010 3:37 p.m.

    @ ColinKapow You're right it is a more worldwide phenomenon than I was originally thinking of, that is a good point. You're also right about the idiots that will just change their symbols to a cock with some balls around it..probably with hair. I am not trying to say that the sysmbol is cool or OK to use, I sure as hell would not, I respect the greatest generation too much to do that, but what were they really fighting for when they fought? They fought for many things I suppose but I know that at least one of them was freedom. I also am not trying in any way shape or form to belittle what the nazis did, what one group of people was able to rise to power and the crimes they were able to commit on the world are terrible things and they should never be allowed to happen again. But that's not what we're talking about here. I sure as hell didn't bomb your town in WW2 nor did any of the complete idiots who run around on some game with a swastika as their symbol, same with the retards with KKK as clan tags etc, they didnt enslave people,yet you want them banned for doing so. You talk about it being more global, lets expand on that shall we? The united states dropped 2 atomic bombs on Japan during WW2, it killed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE INSTANTLY, alot of them completely innocent citizens, even children. Should Japan put pressure on Microsoft to ban any user who uses the American flag as their symbol? You guys all mention how the swastika was so recently used by people who did horrible things...can someone please explain to me the difference here?? Please. For the record I am not saying the united states was terrible for doing what it did, but terrible things are terrible things are they not? @ HankVenture can you please tell me why Microsoft allows the game to be used on their system that they own all the rights to when they dont want people using a sysmbol that is supplied to them in, and will ban them for it? Basically, why doesn't Microsoft say they will not allow this game on their system Hank? If they think its so horrible they shouldnt allow it on the system because the game ALLOWS for that symbol to be used by the people playing it and THUS microsoft allows them to use it because as everyone keeps pointing out, they own all the rights for the system. They could easily say that they are not going to allow a game that allows people to use that symbol in it to be played on their system, could they not? Someone explain that one to me too please. Thanks. At least we have a good debate going here....
  • EnragedTortoise1 - November 23, 2010 3:20 p.m.

    Who actually would? I mean, besides all those shitheaded 7-year-olds who barely even know what it means...
  • ColinKapow - November 23, 2010 2:46 p.m.

    @Howetzer The entire gaming community is in an American court fighting over censorship in America but Call of Duty is a worldwide phenomenon and when you look at the devastation Nazis wearing swastikas caused in Europe why shouldn't Microsoft ban people who have created a symbol purely to try and be cool? I live in Scotland and the Nazi’s bombed the shit out of my town during ww2 (Clydebank before someone wiki’s an argument) but that’s nothing compared to what they did in mainland Europe so that’s potentially millions of other cod users who are pissed off with it as well. People are obviously using it to piss people off or to try and be cool, all of them who have put up their ridiculous reasons for using it are talking bullshit and none will have the conviction to stand by their argument now that the ban hammer is rightly a swinging their way. The idiots using a swastika will just change their emblem to a cock and be just as happy with it since their childish idiots. At least a gorilla, wearing an American football helmet while fucking a pig with a giant monster looking on waving a hammer shows a bit more creativeness than a swastika.
  • Waldo - November 23, 2010 2:28 p.m.

    Some things should be censored. Real people (not game characters) died so that symbol, which millions recognize as a symbol of death and oppresion, could be erased from this world. I say to hell with rights and freedoms, if this is where we end up. The last veterans of WWII not even in the grave and their grandchildren are using the symbol of a hated enemy because it's taboo. It kills me to see the charter of rights and freedoms used in such a manipulative way. Grow up you children, and fast, because one day you may be a real soldier on a front line, learning to fear that enemy flag getting closer, signalling your death (no respawning).
  • HankVenture - November 23, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    @ Any one who says Microsoft doesn't have the right to do this.. The Xbox 360 is their system. If they don't like something they can say take it off or your gone. If you do not like that and want to show it then sell your Xbox and put it on your facebook because you DON'T HAVE to have an Xbox and they don't have to allow you to play. True there are other symbols that have death entangled within their history, but if you asked almost anyone in the world who plays Xbox 360 to choose one thing to symbolize death and despair they will say.. "O the Nazi Swastika" not the cross or anything else that DOES have a history behind it. Plus there are still survivors of that tragedy living today. I bet non play Xbox but it's still fresh in peoples minds
  • havinalaugh - November 23, 2010 1:30 p.m.

    While they're at it, can they get do the same with clan tags such as Nazi, BNP , KKK etc? Pisses me off no end when retards find it funny to do so
  • Howetzer - November 23, 2010 1:25 p.m.

    I hate the hypocracy of it all. On one hand you have the entire gaming industry fighting in court against censorship, then you have Microsoft telling it's gamers (customers) what they CAN and CAN NOT use as a form of personal expression on a game THEY ALLOWED ON THEIR SYSTEM. This is not their place to make the decisions for banning someone for using something they have allowed into thier system. Think about it, if Microsoft REALLY had a fundamental problem with this like that blowhard fucktard liberal quoted in the article claims to, they would NOT ALLOW BLACK OPS SUPPORT ON THIER SYSTEM. But then what? They'd have millions of gamers (customers) who want to F'in play the game, so what do they do? They use censorship on you so they can still collect their paycheck AND "save face" for the publicity ads saying they ban people for use of swastikas in black ops....even though black ops HAS swastikas IN GAME. Ridiculous. As we can see from alot of the comments there are just as many people who dont give a shit either way about the swastika being used, yet they still think the people should be banned for it....why is that? Because people are programmed to go along with the majority so they do? I understand that its a useful evolutional device to help be more succesful as a species, but in this case it doesnt really matter does it? Anyways, I dont know why I bother writing these long things that probably will never be read by anyone, but man it really grinds my gears when I see crap like this.

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