Steam begins testing user-controlled chat filtering options


The words that people find harmful or hurtful to them is a deeply personal experience in a variety of cases, and while there are a number of words and terms that are not kosher anywhere, Steam is hoping to give its users more control over the terms that they take umbrage with thanks to some new chat filtering features, which are currently in a beta testing phase.

The filter feature works pretty much as one expects it would: Users can define a list of words or terms that they don’t want to see on top of various other included words for a personalized experience. These filters apply to Steam Chat, supported games, and could be applied to other forms of user-generated content in the future.

So why include the option of user-created filters instead of expanding the terms to a global block list? Again, it’s about user choice and the context of word choice according to the blog:

“We know marginalized groups can reclaim language for themselves, and we don’t want to stand in the way of enabling groups of Steam users from doing so when chatting with one another on Steam. So players have an option to see profanity and slurs from their Steam Friends, if they wish.”

For those who are looking to create their own blocked terms list, they need only go to their Steam account preferences. As for developers who want to apply these features, there’s an API document for them.


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The problem with profanity filters in general is that they assume that you’re always speaking english everywhere. So I always have to turn them off otherwise they block completely innocent words in my native language, because they’re spelled the same way as a swear in english.
Still, having the option to block certain phrases/words is definitely useful. While steam should maybe start giving a shit about their platform, and about managing it, it doesn’t hurt to give us the option to block stuff.


I loved this feature in BDO being able to put whatever strings of text into a list and the chat would just hide any messages with it in it.

Exactly what you want in a Filter and MMO chat setting. Like back in 2016 it was super clutch to just auto ban “Trump” or “Hillary” and like 50% of the garbage memes were gone. But that’s not really relevant a year later so can remove that. Chat erupt into dated Alienware memes? Gone.

Pretty much the best way to go about things.

Kickstarter Donor

I’m down with this, but it’d be nice if they took some responsibility for all the hate they allow on their platform, especially from Steam user groups. It shouldn’t entirely be on users to try to filter out people acting like literal nazis on the platform.

Malcolm Swoboda

For me, that’s been basically it. I’m not with some online who think there must be constant moderation for up-to-microaggressions, but obvious attempts to rile people into strong hatred shouldn’t be acceptable on your platform. Like, at people running any platform for anything. Not just alarming to occasionally notice, but actually unacceptable.