There's only one person behaving in an inappropriate and offensive manner, and only one person who would be banned. In Halo 4, people don't get to complain about you because you were inappropriately chivalrous. They can only complain about the player who launched into inappropriate invective for three minutes and wouldn't stop when repeatedly advised to.
Originally Posted by Atlictoatl
Yes, but that person is complaining about me being sexist. They were offended. Now if the person complaining gets to define whether something is offensive or not, I would be the one getting banned, not her. Because she took offense, not because I had said anything offensive. This is an example of subjective offense.
What I have said is that there must be *objective* standards, and that allowing offense to be defined subjectively would be a disaster. The example I gave is a reason why.
On the other hand, the simplistic form of declaring certain words as inherently offensive is also flawed. The example I gave was the Yahoo user group word filter, which would refuse to post certain word and report you if you used them. The problem is that is just searched for character strings and rejected anything that contained that string, ignoring punctuation. So you couldn't talk about Japan because it contains "Jap", problems couldn't be nipped in the bud due to "nip", asking the shortened form of "Who are" was out, and you couldn't scrape anything off your shoe. Some people's names couldn't be used because they included a banned string, and one person had their account suspended because of their name. Their actual name.
The only answer I can see is for the moderators to take an active role, and have any and all cases of reported sexist or racist language investigated by them, and assessed against some form of standards. To have a simple binary decision model is heavy-handed at best, because there will be a lot of shades of grey. Not fifty, please. But, as an example, Halo 4 is a worldwide game, and there will be players from a number of different cultures, each with different insults and unacceptable language. Should a player from the US be banned because they used a common word which happens to be a racist insult in another country (or vice versa)? What of language within a particular occupational group which contains words which are perfectly valid in that community but can be considered racial insults outside it? (Yes, I can think of examples of each of these off the top of my head)
Subjective definition of offensive is unworkable. Word recognition algorithms are unworkable. Banning for the first offense is heavy-handed (especially if the word is used in a totally non-offensive context). These are all downsides of having a zero-tolerance policy for sexist or racist language. The aim is good, but the implementation is going to be very tricky for the reasons I've listed above.