Microsoft rolls out new policies, blocks ads related to gaming, politics, others

Microsoft has announced that the company will no longer allow advertising of certain contents, products and services as it rolls out new operational policies.

The tech giant announced: “To offer a safe and positive online experience for users, we cannot accept ads that contain or relate to certain content. This includes, but is not limited to, the content covered in the policies listed below. We reserve the right to reject or remove any ad, at our sole discretion and at any time. Advertising for the following content, products and services is either disallowed or subject to specific participation policies.”

The contents include Political and religious content, Areas of questionable legality, Dating, Defamatory, slanderous, libelous or threatening content, Hate speech, Peer-to-peer file sharing, Sensitive advertising, Suffering and violence, Tax collection, and Unregulated user-generated content.

The disallowed content policies states that:

Areas of questionable legality

Microsoft does not accept advertising for illegal products or services. Additionally, Microsoft reserves the right to refuse advertising for certain content, products and services if the legality or regulatory status of the item is unclear.


Services related to international matchmaking for marriage, or “mail-order brides” are prohibited.

Defamatory, slanderous, libelous or threatening content

Advertising is not allowed if the ads, keywords or sites contain racial or religious epithets, advocate doing physical harm to people or their property, advocate against any individual, business (and/or its products) or group, or contain claims that appear unquestionably false.


Inflammatory or slanderous language is not allowed. Neither is language that may imply violence.

Hate speech

Advertising that facilitates or promotes hate speech is not allowed, whether directed at an individual or a group. This includes any content intended to degrade, intimidate or incite violence or prejudicial action against a group of people based on their race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other differentiating factors.

Online gaming


Online gaming, including video and computer games with online game play, requires compliance with applicable regulations, including licensing requirements in the market where they are advertised.

Peer-to-peer file sharing

Advertising is not allowed for products or offerings that promote file sharing of copyrighted content, or where the primary intent is to provide software or platforms that enable file sharing of copyrighted content.


Unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing of copyright-protected material is not allowed.

Political and religious content

Advertising for election related content, political parties, candidates, and ballot measures is not allowed. Fundraising for political candidates, parties, PACs, and ballot measures is not allowed.

Advertising cannot exploit sensitive political or religious issues for commercial gain or promote extreme political or extreme religious agendas or any known associations with hate, criminal or terrorist activities.

Advertising that exploits political agendas, sensitive political issues or uses “hot button” political issues or names of prominent politicians is not allowed regardless of whether the advertiser has a political agenda.

Sensitive advertising

Microsoft reserves the right to remove or limit advertising permanently or for a period time in response to a sensitive tragedy, disaster, death or high-profile news event. Particularly if advertising:

  • May appear to exploit events for commercial gain.
  • Might be considered inappropriate given events.
  • May affect user safety (for example a product recall).


Advertisements should not appear to exploit sensitive events for commercial gain.

Suffering and violence

Advertising is not allowed that advocates, glorifies or promotes rape, torture, human cannibalism, human suffering or death, self-harm, violence against animals, or graphic or violent images, such as images showing blood or dismemberment.


Advertising is not allowed that advocates violence.

Tax collection & shipping terms

  • Ads in the US cannot contain language promoting no collection of sales tax.
  • Ads in the US cannot leverage user data to display specific shipping terms that apply only to the user. Generic shipping terms such as “free shipping” or “free shipping on orders over $50” is permissible.

Unregulated user-generated content

Advertising is not allowed for user-generated content if Microsoft has reason to believe that such content might not be sufficiently regulated or moderated.


Advertising is not allowed for sites that offer access to Usenet newsgroups.



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