Valve has finally decided to start moderating its Steam forums cesspool

    
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No, you can't be quite this evil.

Steam’s forums are notorious throughout the gaming industry for being truly awful. Journalists across the industry have been pestering Valve for almost a year on the subject of Steam’s player toxicity; you’ll recall one particularly scathing piece from The Center for Investigative Reporting (via Motherboard) last winter that attempted to examine the hate groups thriving on the platform, which Valve had seen fit to permit unmoderated, in spite of the fact that its TOS explicitly forbids “threats of violence or harassment, even as a joke.”

Finally, it appears that Valve might be taking things seriously. In a Steam announcement yesterday, the company says that beginning next week, it will finally put its moderation team to work actually moderating reported posts across Steam. It won’t be actively prowling unreported discussions, and individual developers may opt out.

“For quite a while now, our moderation team has been reviewing and taking appropriate action on many forms of reported community content across Steam, such as screenshots, artwork, guides, user profiles, community groups, and user reviews. In the past, we’ve been hesitant to get involved in the moderation of individual game discussions, as we didn’t want to step on the toes of game developers that want to have their own style of communication with players and their own set of guidelines for behavior. But over time, we’ve been hearing from more and more game developers that would actually prefer for us to take a more active role in discussion boards, at least to the extent of handling posts that are reported by other players.”

The company likewise came under fire this summer for loosening its moderation stance on which games it will allow under its banner.

Source: Steam

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Arcanum Zero

Regardless of how successful they are, I choose to be optimistic that if Valve can emerge from the ridiculous turtle shell that is insisting human forum moderation is impossible, it may encourage other companies to continue to do so.

I don’t buy the accusations of censorship. Getting thrown out of a place for acting like an ass was never censorship before the Internet, and it’s still not censorship now. No one has a right to be rude in someone else’s joint. Find your own joint to be rude in.

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Bryan Correll

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

Eh… Good for Steam forum users, I guess. Personally I don’t care what is being posted there as I only use Steam as a game launcher, for everything else there are more modern ways of communication with your online friends or game developers, such as something called “Discord” and “Twitter” ;-)

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Bruno Brito

Well, i really don’t trust Valve promising me anything.

I’ll take the same posture i take with TF2. I’ll believe it when i see it.

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Fervor Bliss

It is about time. This toxic garbage is pushed out to the world from your servers. Of course, you are responsible for everything you publish.

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Tobasco da Gama

It’s well past time they finally got around to this.

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The MMO Enthusiast
    The problem I have with this is who gets to decide what is hate speech? These days I have seen it go from legitimate hatred (not saying hate speech doesn’t exist on forums) to “there political opinions differ from mine therefore hate speech”. Don’t get me wrong I think personally that forums should be moderated to stick to the topics at hand (game forums stick to games for example) but we saw this with Battlefield 5 and the High Guardian Spice debacle where legitimate criticism was being labeled as hate speech because it hurt some people’s feelings. As long as it is just a matter of keeping things to the subject matters at hand I honestly don’t think anyone should be policing what others say.
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David Goodman

Id say Valve decides since its theirs.

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The MMO Enthusiast

I didn’t say they can’t and I agree ultimately it is there platform and they get to choose what is said and who is on it, but my argument remains that people shouldn’t be removed simply because you disagree with them.

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kgptzac

Technically a developer can call any posts that criticizes their game “hate speech” (or any other label), and delete post/ban poster. They can do it because they own the forum and they can censor whatever speech they want. Steam will now be more like reddit where they’ll enforce a “bottom line” standard. I *want to* trust Steam more than a random team of moderators of a random publisher, but in reality YMMV because random moderators of random publishers are in charge.

tl;dr: it’ll be (mostly) business as usual as I highly doubt Valve suddenly has an army of moderators now to pick up developers/publishers’ slacks on their Steam forums. Whether something is a labeled a hate speech has minimal impact on daily forum shenanigans, or at least in theory, where a “competent” mod team can smell a flamebait and derailment miles away, and locking the thread before shit hits the fan.

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The MMO Enthusiast

I agree that they can ban people because it is there service but this is a symptom of a much larger problem, I to agree that it will be more or less like reddit and so long as the moderators keep it as such like removing comments that don’t discuss the relevant forum post and the like, I’m okay with that but with what we have been seeing lately it is concerning.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

However feeble and late this move might be, they really need to do this to maintain their position in the market and attract new users. With every publisher under the sun launching their own platforms, users or parents can easily find other venues for game purchases.

Valve knows how many complaints and reports it gets and the tenor of the posts that are reported. And I’m cynically guessing they are getting a lot of feedback from developers that they clean up that mess down there.

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Line

They have enough filth to power waste incinerators in the entire world for decades to come.

But developers can opt out of moderation…? Expect some horrible subforums by horrible people for horrible people.

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Jack Pipsam

The only thing I’d really like is the ability to make my post history private if I choose.

Naturally of course mods should be allowed to see it, but random users? I should be allowed to hide those posts if I so choose.