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.