Tell Xbox & Microsoft "Make Consequences Real for Harassers"

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When I called Xbox to complain about my son being sexually harassed by another player, an Xbox employee said, "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but I'm powerless to do anything to help you." 

But I'm not powerless.

There is a long-standing problem of sexual harassment and online bullying within the gaming community. Gaming platforms try to solve this problem by making codes of conducts. As they stand right now, consequences for violating these codes DO NOT WORK. You can report harassment and the worst that happens is your harasser will a few gaming privileges (inconsequential) for three days. Once they get their privileges back they are free to come back and harass their victim again. Or during the three-day punishment harassers can simply log into a second account they have, continuing to play as normal.  Also, it's possible for a harasser to report a victim for "harassment" and that victim can suffer consequences, being victimized further.

This problem affects people of all genders and ages, but primarily it is scary for children. Underage kids who are great players get threatened or harassed when they win a match. Underage kids who are not great players get the same treatment because good players think they slow the game down. I've experienced this, both of my children have experienced this. Countless examples are online if you just do a search. It's a very real, very pervasive problem. Saying "I have no power to help you" is not good enough. We are the consumers. We are the people supporting this multi-billion dollar industry. (Gaming revenues topped $43 billion in 2018.) 

By not creating a better system of punishment for harassers, Xbox and Microsoft are complicit in fostering a Wild West environment where pretty much anything goes and sexual harassers and bullies run rampant. By signing this petition, you are asking Xbox and Microsoft to please elevate the punishments to fit the crimes. Make "banning" a real ban that works. This can be done and still make a gaming environment that works. Send harassers a message that it's NOT OKAY to keep harassing.

[Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash]