Xbox VP says ‘there’s no silver bullet’ to fighting online abuse

Dave McCarthy, who is The corporate vice president of Xbox, told Sky News during an interview that “there’s no silver bullet” to protect those online who are subject to abuse and harassment

McCarthy said that all it takes is one toxic experience online for “your trust in an online space dissipates immediately, as it should”.

McCarthy did reiterate Microsoft Xbox’s continued commitment to online safety. McCarthy told Sky News of the tools utilized by Xbox to keep children and others users safe when using their platform.

“This is an ongoing thing that we have to plug away at and we have those tools in place and hold ourselves accountable,” he said.

McCarthy said that one tool used is the deployment of artificial intelligence, which is able to go through billions of messages and images on Xbox’s platform and identify patterns of harassment and abuse.

“There are AI solutions deployed in the detection of things like bot accounts that are causing issues,” he said.

Mr McCarthy said Xbox uses a myriad of AI learning models, citing ChatGPT as an example of such a machine-based learning function.

The AI finds is able to locate problematic bot accounts by identifying certain behaviour patterns.

McCarthy did stress the need to “augment” AI’s with human intelligence too.

“While those detection algorithms allow us to find the needles in the haystack at scale, we still need humans to validate that those things are going on,” he said.

McCarthy was asked why Xbox platform should have confidence that any issues raised will heard and acted upon, McCarthy brought up their appeals procedure.

“This is going to sound strange, but having an appeals process is actually a strong thing for us, because it shows people that we are listening and we do take multiple looks at things and they do have a course of action,” he said.

“This is a journey that’s never over. We’ve made advances in areas like accessibility and sustainability but it’s the tip of the iceberg in some respects. We’re never done in this space.”

Under amendments to the Online Safety Bill, tech bosses could face up to two years in jail if they fail to offer protections to children online.  The bill mandates that they take “proportionate measures” to do so.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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