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Microsoft ended 2022 by deleting 7.51M "inauthentic" Xbox accounts

The back half of 2022 saw Microsoft step up its account enforcement game.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

May 22, 2023

2 Min Read
Key art for season 2 of Halo Infinite: Lone Wolves.

During the second half of 2022, Microsoft's proactive enforcements for the Xbox ecosystem shot up substantially. In the developer's newest transparency report, the Xbox maker revealed it took preemptive action against 7.51 million "inauthentic accounts" out of 8.08 million overall between July and December 2022. 

This is the second report of this type from the corporation, and the data paints an interesting picture of how Microsoft has been working to make its ecosystem a safe place for players all around the world. 

Microsoft noted its proactive measures (said to be a "key driver" to ensure safe player experiences) were 16.5 times the 461,000 in 2021's same six-month period. Compared to the 5 million accounts from 2022's first half, it's an increase of 57 percent. 

Like last year, "inauthentic" translates to bot accounts that send players spam messages, cheat, or "ultimately create an unlevel playing field for our players or detract from their experiences."

The number of enforcements fluctuated for each listed category. For example, both adult sexual content and harassment went down to 193,000 (from 199,000 and 43,000 (from 54,000) in the first six months, while fraud and phishing rose respectively to 94,000 (from 87,000) and 36,000 (from 26,000). 

With that said, Microsoft added that its enforcements for vulgar content have gone up substantially by 450 percent in the last six months. The majority of those were proactive, and in most cases, the content just gets removed. 

"Content-only" moderations such as those shot up by 390 percent between July and December. And In the case of account tampering, phishing, piracy, and creating inauthentic accounts, the developer claims its proactive measures "detected and enforced" against 100 percent of all those instances.

Xbox's player base does the reporting Microsoft doesn't always catch

While much of Microsoft's report highlights how it cuts inappropriate or bot accounts off at the pass, it also has sizable data on actions taken after player-reported incidents. 

2.11 million players reportedly filed reports to Microsoft between July and December 2022, a 16 percent drop from the first half of the year. Most of those reports revolved around how other players act in-game (41 percent) and the messages they send (47 percent). At 11 percent, the lowest of the reports concern user-generated content.

From the graph shown in the report, it's not clear if these numbers include messages and actions taken in tandem with each other, or if they would just be actions taken individually. There is, unfortunately, more than one way to harass someone, particularly when an Xbox console isn't the only way to do it. 

Still, player reporting seems to be going down, generally speaking, with each six-month period. There were 27.47 million player-made reports for July-December, down 17 percent from January-June 2022, and down 34.3 percent compared to July-December 2021. 

You can read Microsoft's full transparency report, which also includes the percentage of account appeals and data on enforcement actions taken.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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