Steam will finally moderate game discussions

Valve announced it will soon take a more active role in community moderation, acting only on reported posts.

Valve will begin moderating game community discussions on Steam, the company announced Wednesday. The company detailed its plans for how it will take a more active role in community management starting Tuesday in a Steamworks Development post.

The decision comes after Valve reports that “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,” according to the post.

Basically, Valve will only be acting on reported posts in all game hubs. Though, game developers have the option of opting out of this moderation if they wish.

“Don’t worry: We won’t be actively perusing your community discussions or posting in threads - you have your own voice and your own style of communication with players about your game,” the post stated. “We’ll only be communicating with players if it's necessary when issuing a warning or ban for reported content." 

Individual users can flag threads or posts in communities, and from there the problem posts will be added to a queue for Valve to review. It will then remove any threads or individual posts that violate Steam’s community guidelines.

It should be noted, however, that Valve currently reviews and removes “screenshots, artwork, guides, user profiles, community groups, and user reviews” that violate its policies, but the company was “hesitant” to entrench itself in moderating game discussions themselves, as it “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.”

Valve has come under criticism for some of its inconsistent moderation policies in the past, as it removed some adult games while leaving others on the Steam storefront. 

The issue came to a head before the release of Active Shooter, a school shooting simulator that sparked outrage in the game community and elsewhere and was pulled from Steam before release. After the controversy, Valve released its polarizing new policy, which is to allow everything on the Steam store so long as it isn’t illegal or “straight up trolling.”

GameDaily reached out to Valve regarding the new policy to moderate game discussions, but did not receive a comment by publication time.

Liz Lanier is a freelance writer with words published in Game Daily, Variety, Game Informer, and other places. She mostly enjoys narrative-based games but also enjoys disappointing teammates in competitive titles like PUBG from time to time. When she’s not writing about or playing video games, she enjoys procrastinating on assignments for graduate school, where she is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing. Reach her at LizLanierWrites@gmail.com or connect with her on Twitter.