Xbox Live, like every other online community, has long struggled with troublemakers and rabble-rousers, otherwise known as trolls. Microsoft maintains their various codes of conduct with due diligence, but they need help. Specifically, your help.
MS has just unveiled a new beta program called Enforcement United, which asks everyday users to be help keep tabs on fellow members. Basically, it allows ever members to snitch on others, whom they believe to be in violation of the rules.
Now, anyone who has frequented popular message boards may instantly be reminded of that one moderator who allows power to get to his or her head. But MS has thought of that as well; violators are fed to some kind of algorithm that makes the final call, by also considering in a number of other factors. Ultimately:
“We have built in a series of carefully designed controls so no individual participant can wield unchecked power over another. The system will also continually calibrate itself to understand how reliable the data is and the sources it comes from.”
At this early point, offensive gamertags are the only real things that a deputized XBLA member will be able to report on, but responsibilities will expand over time. And what does one get for helping the community?
Since it's part of the recently introduced Xbox Community Ambassadors, being Big Brother on the behalf of Microsoft can score you freebies like Avatar accessories. One has to wonder if one said freebie will be a badge, to let everyone know that you're the law.