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Microsoft's New Tool Lets You Flag Hate Speech

Much of the focus for battling hate speech on the internet seems to fall on Twitter, but Microsoft is taking its own stand. Whether you've been mocked due to your gender on Xbox Live or sent a Word doc with a racist screed, you'll be able to flag the problem with a form Microsoft is introducing to report abuse across all of its consumer services, including Docs.com, OneDrive, Outlook, Sway, Skype and Xbox Live.

Credit: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock

(Image credit: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock)


Microsoft's form for reporting abuse defines hate speech as promoting abuse based on:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • National or Ethnic origin
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation/Gender identity

MORE: How to Report Bullying and Abuse Online

Microsoft claims it will continue to hunt for abuse and hate speech on its own, but that this form could speed up that process. The company has also introduced a reinstatement form for those who feel that their content was taken down in error.

"Our hope is that with these steps, we more directly address hate speech on our hosted services; improve transparency in how we are tackling this offensive content online, and help to foster Microsoft communities where acceptance, inclusion and civility are the norm," wrote Microsoft chief online safety officer Jacqueline Beauchere.

The move comes as other social networks and forums like Twitter and Reddit are coming under fire to curb abuse and hate speech on their platforms.