Redmond, Wash. – Microsoft (NASD: MSFT) is apologizing to a town in West
Virginia, after a 26-year-old gamer from a town called Fort Gay was suspended
from its Xbox Live online game service because of the town’s name, the
Associated Press reported.
Josh Moore says he tried to inform a representative
with the company that his listed location was not to meant to be a derogatory
slur, and encouraged the company to verify the existence of Fort Gay, a town of
about 800 in Wayne County.
"I figured, I’ll explain to them, ‘Look in my
account. Fort Gay is a real place,’" Moore told AP. "I’m not even
gay, and it makes me feel like they were discriminating."
representative ignored Moore’s explanation and suspended his account.
has previously run into controversy with its ban on words that can potentially
be viewed as perjorative or gay-affirming.
In March, the company changed its
policies to allow users to describe themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender or straight — after consulting with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance
Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Stephen Toulouse, director of policy and
enforcement for Xbox Live, told AP that Moore’s account suspension was a
mistake. "Absolutely, a mistake was made here, and we’ve updated our
training to account for that."
(DMW previous coverage)