Hate groups are getting deleted from Steam… if they’re overt enough

It’s fair to say at this point that Steam is an enormous part of the PC gaming market. It’s also fair to say that Valve has demonstrated very little interest in moderating the platform in any way, preferring algorithms to actually walking in and stopping review-bombing efforts (among other abuses). There’s no real way to program in algorithms to prevent hate groups forming, but it does appear that Valve has gone through the Steam Groups and done one of its most aggressive banning passes to shut down hate groups.

Successful? Well, you won’t find a bunch of hate groups by searching for “school shooter.” You can, however, still find them; you just have to work a little bit harder at it. At this point, it seems that the only way these groups are really going to be removed from the platform altogether is if Valve really makes an aggressive project of moderating the platform, and that seems unlikely. But it’s a step in the right direction.

Source: Kotaku
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haishao

If I started searching for bugs in my house right now, I’m sure I would find at least one. It wouldn’t deserve a call to the exterminator though.

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Cosmic Cleric

-groggily pulls himself up off the floor, into a sitting position, massaging his forehead-

Did we figure out World Peace yet? Hello?

-mumbles about not even having eaten the salmon mousse-

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Eamil

The vast majority of the kind of groups this article describes are just groups with an edgy name someone created because they can and they find it amusing to elicit exactly this kind of moral outrage, and had no actual activity beyond one or two tasteless “joke posts.” I miss the days when people understood the phrase “don’t feed the trolls,” and I think calling Steam groups with a shock title and two whole threads on them “hate groups” cheapens that term significantly.

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Armsbend

Trolls used to be exactly that. One little monster living under a bridge trying to ruin the fun for literally everyone. Now everyone is a troll trying to out-troll the other. So it’s a problem.

My solution would be simply to not publicize it and make it go away.

The ones who show the most outrage that social media is censoring them absolutely rely on that social media for oxygen. If they get banned they disappear forever and they know it. If you keep making them disappear their mindless minions voices will disappear as well. It won’t take much longer a year or two at best. It will cease to be an issue because the ones causing the outrage will go back to their regular, boring, angry lives.

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Utakata

I am pretty sure it’s more to it than banning groups with silly tasteless names. Either way though, it appears Valve is taking “not feed the trolls” one step further by banning them outright. Can’t feed what made to go “poof, gone” internet wise.

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Sorrior Draconus

Sadly not a good move imo. The more we censor them the more people will be drawn to hear whgat they say or they can use the victim card to get sympathy.

Silencing someone never works. Best to let them spout theur idiocy and be mocked/ignored for it rather then make it so sone think they have a point or secret knowledge

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Leiloni

Banning free speech on public platforms like this is a very slippery slope. Today it’s something you disagree with, but tomorrow it might be you. Because when you let corporations who already control the flow of thoughts and ideas on large platforms so easily censor those thoughts, you limit the public flow of free speech in general. Next thing you know they’re banning your group or account that you thought was “ok” and soon you start entering Chinese style censorship territory.

In the EU where they already don’t have free speech laws like we do, there’s a lot of scary censorship going on. In the UK for a while now they’ve been jailing people for things they say on Twitter and Facebook. If you say something they find offensive or hateful they’ll show up at your house and might press charges and there appears to be a lot of leeway as to what is considered offensive or hateful. They’ve even banned outsiders from visiting the country for their thoughts – not any actions.

Be careful what you wish for. It’s 1984 in some places and it’s scary. It’s far easier to ignore or use a block feature on someone you don’t agree with. These are groups most would never have even encountered had they not been writing articles about them, so to me leaving them alone would have meant they stay a remote minority that nobody will ever see. The potential for abuse for letting people run wild with private and public censorship is far too scary to me, though.

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Armsbend

“We had a Brexit referendum cause they passed the buck. They didn’t want to make a mistake. And there’s a ridiculous thing of, “Let’s ask the average person what they think.” Let’s stop asking the average person what they… Do you know how fucking stupid the average person is? We still sell bottles of bleach with big labels on that say “Do not drink”. Right? Let’s take those labels off, right? For two years. And then have a referendum.”

~Ricky Gervais

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Line

In the EU, we have plenty of laws restricting free speech. Holocaust denial is one of those.
And you know what? It works.
A lot less neo-nazis in the open, and a judiciary that stifles those movements limit their influence.
It’s been over 70 years, and I’m not exactly worried about them in the middle of the night.

But when all that hate is tolerated, you get big parties forming from the ashes of terrible old ones, and people get elected. And they definitely change the discourse.
From Hungary to the Philippines, Poland to Turkey, you get crazy people in power, and plenty of people supporting them since they found their scapegoats.

Blame the immigrants, the non believers, the Jews, let militias running along the border… and let’s not forget to fund fake news and propaganda to keep the voters in their bubble.
And those people worry me, certainly.
The whole being the ones that actually hunt down people with the benediction of the state is a lot more relevant than me not being able to scream obscenities at people in public places.

Some toxic people were banned from travelling to the UK.
How many were killed by those some same movements clamoring for their freedom to hate?

You’ll excuse me to not be sorry about the right of nazis to spread their hate, while a black footballer will get the propaganda machine against him for kneeling at a game.
Defending free speech is becoming another dog whistle like putting “family”, “religious liberty” or “People’s Republic” in the name of your association.

As for ignoring threats instead of taking them down… maybe we should have done the later before they started blowing themselves up and running trucks in crowds.
And they still have plenty of recruiters with free speech making more of them.

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Al_Bundy

See I totally get your point and I mostly agree with you.

Nobody has a problem with limiting the freedom of speech of “real” racists, haters and nazis. Yes, I agree, “freedom of speech” should have limits (holocaust denial is a good example). But this little world “real” is kind of the big, big problem here. Because who defines what is hate speech? Who is the one to decide who is toxic and who isn’t? Who decides who is a “real” nazi/racist/toxic person and who isn’t?

As I have already explained, I was accused of hate speech several times for criticizing mass migration. And I’m neither a right wing activist nor “toxic”. My roommate is a muslim, I regularly visit his family, I’m by all means an open-minded guy (atheist by the way), until the migration crisis in 2015/16 I regularly voted center-left/labour. But I witness the effects of mass migration on a daily basis (I work in a school). And especially our education system can’t handle it anymore, we can not guarantee a proper education for the many kids we get daily and most of them will leave school without any kind of degree barely speaking german (or english). And I’m telling everyone in europe: We have a big, big (!) problem here. And labeling everyone pointing at the problem a “toxic person” won’t solve our problem.

My personal problem here is that I am convinced some people on the political left are actively abusing the concept of “hate” to censor away the opposition to “multiculturalism” and “open borders”. Again: I have no problem with censoring openly undemocratic, extreme positions. I also don’t have a general problem with migration or “foreigners”. In general I welcome other cultures. Here’s the thing: I can only speak for germany. Our capacities are full. We can’t take anymore or there will be a huge catastrophy. Our schools are overstrained.

And if anyone here thinks it makes me a “racist”, a “toxic person” or an advocat of “hate speech” to openly speak about these problems, then you’re part of the problem many people here are trying to point our. Please make a difference between “hate” and “democratic opposition to leftwing policies”…

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Line

Maybe that makes you a toxic person, I will not pass a judgement and say so.

But some people can absolutely do such a thing.
And then what? Why do you care what they think? Isn’t that the whole shtick of “snowflakes” and all that jazz (not that I’m putting you in the shoes of someone constantly throwing that term).

Now… in terms of law, who decides?
The courts. Like it does for the rest. Knowing full well that they are not perfect, and will need to adapt. Worshiping a piece a paper like some do in say, the USA, is not productive to good judiciary system.

And that’s why voting and insuring that you do not get politicians screwing the system (Poland will not get by unscathed…).
But you also needs checks and balances insuring integrity and respect of the spirit of the law.

That’s the gist of it.
You, like many others, are more worried about being called bad things, rightfully so or not at all, instead of crushing the literal death threats to communities and our democracies.

You don’t need to hate to promote nefarious ideologies, you just need inaction… and obfuscation of the true problems, willingly or not.

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Eamil

You basically just ignored everything he wrote and instead conflated being considered a “toxic person” in the eyes of the law and thus someone who can be denied their rights (the concern Leiloni raised at the top of this thread and which that person’s post was illustrating how he might be affected by) with being called mean things on the internet.

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Chris Moss

I was about to reply to him also, but you also said everything I was thinking.

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haishao

Swiping dust under the rug doesn’t take it away. It’s just hidden and piling up bigger and bigger the more you hide it under the rug. And eventually it spills everywhere and idiots wonder where it comes from.

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kgptzac

I never knew Steam groups get their own little forums. It would be fun if Valve start to globally mute these people engaging hate speech.

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Rayko

Just for the record, I am liberal. I worked on all of Obama’s campaigns, I have read Hitchens, I believe in universal healthcare, and that we have a moral duty to help people, especially those that can not help themselves. I meditate and try and treat every person with kindness even when ( or should I say especially when) they are not being kind to me. I say this not for some egoic reason but for you to understand I am not some right wing hate monger. I’m on your side basically, I just don’t think ourside is immune to being wrong. The way I see it, the people being accused of wrongdoing, the game critics, successfully spun the narrative off themselves and the rest is history.

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Utakata

You seem to be more center right from where I see you are coming from. As both Obama and universal healthcare where implement from the small “C” conservative side of the spectrum. Where liberal could easily mean “neoliberal” economically. To which then your arguments make entirely sense. Not trying to bash you…but since you fessing up, I would like work out some of the seemingly inconsistencies of your view points to put them in better perspective.

…but to put it mildly, a liberal in the sense of being “left”, you most certainly not. :)

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Rayko

I respectfully disagree and I think that is a large assumption to make based off one topic but I respect your right to your opinion. I ultimately don’t like labels as they are too confining so I’m not going to get bent out of shape about it. Cheers!

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Utakata

Fair enough then. As well as this horse seems to be well enough beaten’d…time to move on to more gaming and pigtailed pastures. <3

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Leiloni

Obama is super liberal and so is the idea of universal healthcare.

And traditionally the defense of free speech is a liberal idea as well.

A lot of today’s liberals are further left of what liberal traditionally means politically, but that doesn’t make certain ideas centrist or conservative. It just means many of today’s liberals just have moved even further to the extremes of the left.

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Armsbend

Barack Obama was a moderate – in the same vein as Bill Clinton. As the first black pres – he had to be.

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Utakata

Err…no he wasn’t. Your comment only suggests how far you are on the political scale from where Obama was to even remotely suggest that claim. You probably even think Nixon was super liberal too…so I don’t buy that position for even a second, lol.

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McGuffn

Nixon loved the environment. What a pinko.

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Alex Willis

Obama is super liberal and so is the idea of universal healthcare.

Good grief. The rest of the world looks at comments like this and is not surprised at America’s current mess. Universal health care as a “super liberal” idea? Only 58 countries in the damn world have it.

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AngryPacifist

it takes courage to admit having worked for a misleading ideology that is in 9 of 10 cases the exact opposite of what it claims to be. Fancy euphemisms are so easy to spot, sadly only half of the population get it.

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AngryPacifist

I love censorship. Can’t wait when we finally accomplish China-level. Also banning words that used to be perfectly normal before.. mhmm this gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling. I hope with the advance of technology companies and governments will be able to control thoughts directly, because media doesn’t seem to be as effective anymore. Implants will be necessary.

dixa
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dixa

Steam is private domain. It is because of our freedoms that the government can’t enforce speech laws upon private domain, so I am unsure where you were trying to go here and I hope you see how much it just backfired.

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Bruno Brito

Censorship = Government.

Don’t bring your crap to private domains.

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Rayko

Government or community consensus. A community is defined as a unified body of individuals. So business partners/co-workers, families, neighbors, etc The staff of a website is a community so it is Censorship BUT I AGREE they have the right to censor what they want, I just don’t think they should unless it’s purely trolling or hate speech but then again where’s the line? I’m not saying I know the answers I am only asking questions to understand your position better.

dixa
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dixa

the first amendment doesnt apply to private domain like Steam and Steam Groups. The company has every right to nuke these groups.

Those arguing that this just pushes them out to the fringe – who cares? if they are that passionate they can go buy a domain name and just make a website and certainly have their own discord channels. Steam is not obligated to allow hate speech against protected classes exist on their platform.

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Armsbend

I just want them to keep chugging along with this until the weirdos simply can’t find any light for their rants and they just give up like exhausted children. No one knew about or listened to them before the internet it needs to go back that way.

They can stew all day about when they’ve been chased back to the caves and shadows from whence they came. No one will hear them. Everyone is happy.

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AngryPacifist

ok, then it’s time to force the first amendment on companies that have monopolized communication. Facebook, Twitter, even Steam

It will be the end of opinion censorship on the internet. Unless people really love censorship so much and keep begging for it.

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McGuffn

1. Say people shouldn’t engage in censorship
2. When that fails advocate an en masse violation of first amendment rights.
3. ?????
4. Don’t profit.