Valve will start taking a more active role in moderating discussion boards for various games on their enormous PC games platform.
We’re being a little facetious: it’s not that Valve didn’t moderate any content on Steam, because they clearly did. Various games and user-generated content has been taken down once word got back to them. But previously, Valve preferred to take a more hands-off approach to the myriad discussion boards for every specific game. This allowed the developer and the gamer to have a more one-on-one relationship.
At least, that was the idea.
However, times have changed. Developers aren’t so much interested in moderating their own forums as they are making games. There are tons of indie developers that just don’t have the resources to keep an eye on everything that goes on in their discussion boards, so they’ve asked Valve for help.
Enter Valve, Starting Tuesday, September 25th, they’ll be taking an active role by reviewing all reported content on Steam’s various game hubs. If a player clicks the “report post” button, it’ll go to Valve’s moderator team who will take a look and decide if the post breaks any of Steam’s Community Guidelines.
Since the guidelines haven’t been particularly rigorously enforced (until now), then a brief reminder of what not to do: “adult” content is forbidden, as are personal attacks, insults, abuse, phishing scams, posting any personal info (such as passwords, addresses, etc.) or spamming. There’s more, but it’s all fairly straightforward— just don’t be a jerk.
If you’re caught on the wrong side of those guidelines, Valve’s moderators will issue a warning first, and then a temporary ban for repeated offences. Continue offending or cause a real stinkeroo, and you’ll get the perma-ban from whatever game hub you posted the offensive material.
Valve is making their moderator guidelines public for anyone to take a look so you know in advance how community members should behave.
Obviously, the concern here is for an overzealous moderator to get a little heavy-handed and be accused of censoring, but Valve seems to be equally concerned about such an outcome as well. On their update regarding moderation, Steam reported that they’ll “only be communicating with players if it's necessary when issuing a warning or ban for reported content."
On the plus side, this should cut down on the number of threads that are just “REGION LOCK CHINA” thousands of times in a row. On the negative side… frankly, we don’t see a negative side on this. Go to, Valve, and clean up this mess!