The move comes as many technology companies look for ways to deal with hate speech and other abusive activities on online forums.
Microsoft is making it easier to call out racist, sexist or other abusive content on Xbox Live and the company’s other online services.
The Redmond company Friday introduced a new web form that can be used to report content that advocates violence or promotes hatred based on gender, race, sexual identity or other characteristics.
The move comes as technology companies grapple with hate speech on their services.
Social-networking site Twitter has struggled to police abusive behavior, including one episode last month in which sexist and racist abuse pushed “Ghostbusters” star and comedian Leslie Jones to quit the site, a move that drew response from the company’s CEO.
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Abuse has also been widespread in video gaming, an industry Microsoft plays a role through its popular Xbox Live online gaming service.
Casual sexism is so frequent that some female players avoid voice chats in online matches for fear of revealing their gender and becoming subject to abuse.
Microsoft’s policy of banning hate speech isn’t new, Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft’s head of online safety, said in a blog post, but the specific tool to combat it is.
When hate speech is reported to the company, Beauchere said, Microsoft will evaluate the complaint and determine whether to remove the content or take other action.
“We seek to respect the broad range of users’ fundamental rights, including the rights to free expression and access to information, without fear of encountering hate speech or abuse,” Beauchere said.
People who believe items were inappropriately removed can appeal the decision through a separate form.
Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter, were among companies that earlier this year signed an agreement with the European Union to “quickly and efficiently” tackle illegal hate speech online.