Microsoft on Friday said it has acquired Two Hat, a content moderation company whose technology is already being used to week out persecution and harassment in Xbox, Minecraft and MSN online communities. Dave McCarthy, vice president of Xbox product services, in a blog post said, “For the past few years, Microsoft and Two Hat have partnered together to implement proactive moderation technology into gaming and non-gaming experiences to detect and remove harmful content before it ever teaches members of our communities.” The acquisition is intended to improve Microsoft’s first-party content moderation in gaming, and even outspread to the company’s consumer services. Microsoft has great plans for consumer services, after hiring a former Uber exec to lead a new consumer apps effort earlier this year.
Microsoft has been trying to acquire popular communities recently, including TikTok, Pinterest, and Discord. CEO Satya Nadella has expressed an interest in Microsoft focusing on creators and communities, and moderation plays a critical part in any online community-based service.
Two Hat also has a number of its own customers, and Microsoft is not planning to stop supporting them. “This is a deep investment in assisting and serving Two Hat’s existing customers, prospective new customers and multiple product and service experiences here at Microsoft,” says McCarthy. “With this acquisition, we will help global online communities to be safer and inclusive for everyone to participate, positively contribute and thrive.”