Xbox Live Suspends Gamer Over His 'Fort Gay, WV' Location
As the AP reports, Moore pleaded with security officials at Microsoft not long after receiving his suspension, attempting to convince them that his community of 800 people in Wayne County, West Virginia, was a real place. Without even googling or checking the U.S. Postal Service website, however, Microsoft refused to reinstate him. With Moore's calls to customer service having failed, Fort Gay mayor David Thompson tried to intervene on his behalf, but made little headway with Microsoft's puritanical purveyors. In a recent interview with TV station WSAZ, Thompson said he was told that the word "gay" was considered inappropriate in any context, whatsoever. "I'm not even gay, and it makes me feel like they were discriminating," Moore said.
Xbox Live director of policy and enforcement Stephen Toulouse, however, says that Moore's account of the story is "absolutely incorrect." According to Toulouse, an Xbox Live agent received a user complaint about the name, without much context. "Someone took the phrase 'fort gay WV' and believed that the individual who had that was trying to offend, or trying to use it in a pejorative manner," Toulouse explains. "Unfortunately, one of my people agreed with that... When it was brought to my attention, we did revoke the suspension."
Although Toulouse maintains that his company's agents rarely make such egregious errors, he admits that, this time around, they screwed up. "Absolutely, a mistake was made here, and we've updated our training to account for that," he acknowledges. Josh, who missed a big 'Search and Destroy' competition due to his suspension, reportedly doesn't care much about Xbox's apologies. As he says, all he wants is for Microsoft to acknowledge that his town is "a real place with real people in it."