If you were President Obama, how would you feel if someone wanted to impeach you?
That’s the question Microsoft Xbox LIVE asked WND after it banned a teenager from using “mpeach obama21” as his gamertag, or online username.
“This name is actually, it’s not likeable,” a Microsoft Xbox LIVE spokesman identifying himself as Jordan said. “If you were Obama, what would you feel if you saw this?”
Father Chad Willis told WND his 15-year-old son tried to log into his Xbox game console to play online, but the screen alerted him to the following message: “In accordance with Xbox LIVE policy, the gamertag mpeach obama21 is no longer allowed. Please change your gamertag before playing on Xbox LIVE.”
Xbox LIVE bans ‘mpeach obama21’ gamertag
Willis said creating a new gamertag costs Xbox LIVE points and, therefore, money.
Jordan referenced the following Xbox LIVE policy as reason for the ban:
- Don’t create a gamertag, profile content, or in-game content that other users may be offended by, this includes comments that look, sound like, stand for, hint at, abbreviate, or insinuate any of the following: profane words/phrases, topics or content of a sexual nature, hate speech (including but not limited to racial, ethnic, or religious slurs), illegal drugs / controlled substances, or illegal activities.
- Don’t create a gamertag, profile content, or in-game content that references controversial religious topics, notorious people, organizations, or sensitive current or historical events that may also be considered inappropriate.
“(mpeach obama21) could fall under sensitive current or historical events,” Jordan explained. “Obama being president of the U.S. is a historical event for most of the people there. Microsoft doesn’t tolerate such things. Microsoft Xbox wants to be a fun place for everyone.”
Asked whether Xbox policy prohibits political speech, he replied, “Well, it doesn’t actually say anything about politics, but it could pertain to historical events.”
Jordan insisted the policy would apply to “mpeach Bush” gamertags as well.
While political speech may not be allowed, the Xbox LIVE Code of Conduct was recently updated to specifically permit gamertags that include sexual orientation. Users may identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bi, transgender or straight.
Stephen Tolouse, director or policy and enforcement on Xbox LIVE, explained the policy change to one blogger: “As our service has grown – spectacularly, I might add – and become much more social, it’s not just about games anymore: It’s about movies, it’s about sharing experiences with your friends. We certainly see now through feedback from our customer base and community that people want to be able to express that stuff.”
Willis’ son said he has seen numerous inappropriate gamertags “that have the F-word, drugs and other stupid stuff.”
His father said, “This just confirms my resolve in making sure that my family and friends are aware of the collusion, albeit veiled, between Microsoft and the current occupant of the White House.”
The teenager said he wants his “mpeach obama21” gamertag back “because it’s the principle of the thing.”
However, Microsoft Xbox LIVE told WND it will not reinstate the name, and he must create a new one.