Welcome back to another episode of We Don’t Need to Fear the Singularity Because the People Writing AI Are Too Stupid for That to Happen. Today, we focus in on Steam, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skin selling, and the automod algorithm that’s dishing out hefty bans to legitimate players in its zeal to stop bots.
The problem first arose when Gergely “GeRy” Szabo, a CS:GO skin trader who happens to own about $475K worth of inventory, pointed out on Twitter how he was automatically hit with a ban on his Steam account for “posting and upvoting suspicious content” after sending a message to another player about a trade. After a couple of days and a pair of messages to Steam support, the ban was lifted, though not without a hit to his trading business, and multiple replies to his tweet arose from other players who were experiencing a similar issue.
For context, players messaging one another for such trades isn’t beyond the pale, even with the number of third-party sites that facilitate the cottage industry. Still, there are easily more bots that push their skin sales to players, which is likely what Valve is trying to crack down on; it’s just reportedly doing it poorly. And since the shooter’s sequel has been announced and confirmed previously owned skins will carry over from the old game to the new, the situation may only prove to get worse.