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Valve to begin moderating game forums on Steam next week

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Starting on Tuesday, September 25th Valve will be actively moderating all game forums on Steam unless a developer opts to not have Valve do so.

So from then onwards if someone reports a post on a Steam forum, let's say for Streets of Rogue, it will then go into a queue for Valve's own moderation team to look over. They will then remove it if it violates their community guidelines.

It does make sense, since Valve already moderates other user posted content across Steam like screenshots, artwork, guides, user profiles, community groups and so on. They said they previously didn't want to step on the toes of developers, who ran their community their way. However, they said they've been hearing from developers that they need help. Valve's Tom Giardino mentioned on Twitter "Many of the changes are direct implementations of suggestions from devs at indie meetups, GDC, AAA studio visits, passionate twitter rants, etc. So, thanks for speaking up in all of those places and keep it coming.".

To go along with this, Valve has been actively expanding their moderation team to cope with the increased workload. Thankfully, they won't be relying on some special algorithms to determine what posts can stay and what goes in the bin.

I can certainly understand why developers want a hand with moderating their Steam communities for each game, as a lot of the time they really do up becoming a complete pit of arguments, trolls and all sorts of rubbish.

What do you think to Valve increasing their presence in the forums for each game? I think it's a welcome move. See the announcement here.

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51 comments
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0aTT 21 September 2018 at 9:41 am UTC
QuoteWhat do you think to Valve increasing their presence in the forums for each game?
They only delete posts that violate rules. So you won't see a Valve moderator in the forums. It is simply a service for publishers and developers. They pay at least 30% of their revenues to Valve.


Last edited by 0aTT at 21 September 2018 at 9:42 am UTC
Ardje 21 September 2018 at 9:41 am UTC
That's great.

I already love the first "full nudity" game released on Steam.
But I also love them helping control the culture of other games. They actually now imply moderating is mandatory, which I think it should be. But handing that over to a 3rd ("independent") party is the best way, unless you already have a big moderation team.
And of course: you cannot make the same comments in a full nudity game forum as in a my little pony forum.
.
0aTT 21 September 2018 at 9:52 am UTC
ArdjeThat's great.

I already love the first "full nudity" game released on Steam.

The game was, of course, immediately banned in Germany and many other countries. In the past, you could buy it and then simply apply the nude patch. What Valve (and the publisher) did there is just totally idiotic. Even moderate people are really pissed off. At least that's how the German community sees it. And more countries will follow. England is at the top of the list, because they also have very problematic laws there.

Valve must finally introduce age verification. Every cheap porn site has that, but for Valve it's obviously a thing of impossibility. Censoring cartoons/hentai is really poor.


Last edited by 0aTT at 21 September 2018 at 10:04 am UTC
liamdawe 21 September 2018 at 9:58 am UTC
0aTT
QuoteWhat do you think to Valve increasing their presence in the forums for each game?
They only delete posts that violate rules. So you won't see a Valve moderator in the forums. It is simply a service for publishers and developers. They pay at least 30% of their revenues to Valve.
I am aware of that, having a presence doesn't literally mean they will be posting all over forums.
fabertawe 21 September 2018 at 10:04 am UTC
Off topic - re: nudity...

I don't know which game(s) anyone is referring to and I probably wouldn't be interested anyway but I have to chuckle at the outrage to nudity when no one bats an eyelid at the gore, mutilation and violence in so many games (which I like playing btw!).
0aTT 21 September 2018 at 10:11 am UTC
fabertaweOff topic - re: nudity...

I don't know which game(s) anyone is referring to and I probably wouldn't be interested anyway but I have to chuckle at the outrage to nudity when no one bats an eyelid at the gore, mutilation and violence in so many games (which I like playing btw!).

Censorship is always arbitrary. You don't know what will happen next.

In Germany we thought for a long time that only violent games like Dying Light or Left4Dead would be affected. But in the meantime the censorship is spreading to other areas as well. And the reason is always protection of minors, even if they are not interested at all, but compulsively stick to Minecraft.

And what's so bad about a 14-year-old jerking off at a Hentai game? I'm too old for this garbage, but I want to live in a free country that doesn't get lost in bigotry.
johndoe 21 September 2018 at 10:59 am UTC
0aTTIn Germany we thought for a long time that only violent games like Dying Light or Left4Dead would be affected. But in the meantime the censorship is spreading to other areas as well. And the reason is always protection of minors, even if they are not interested at all, but compulsively stick to Minecraft.

I'm in the same boat as you - live in germany.
Im 42 years old and cannot buy Dying Light because of censorship - what a BS!

Soon Kalypso will release remakes of Commands 1+2+3 pretty sure.
But even the original versions for windows you cannot buy over Steam SHOP in Germany - heh? I still have Commandos 2 in my shelf I bought as a teen - what the hell is going on? Because of swastika???
DrMcCoy 21 September 2018 at 10:59 am UTC
Valve is actually paying people to moderate things? Well, there's a first for everything, I guess.

Here's hoping they do it right, but I won't be holding my breath.

0aTTThe game was, of course, immediately banned in Germany

Nope, the game isn't banned in Germany. In fact, Germany (and many places in Europe) is way laxer than the US in terms of nudity and sexuality. The US is kind of...prude.

These games are perfectly fine and not-banned in Germany. They are, however, age-restricted. And there's the rub: it's just that the Steam age gate is, well, useless and not up to the German standards. Regulations in Germany require Valve to verify the age of buyers. Just saying "Yes, I'm 18" is not enough.

One way to do this for digital goods (for physical goods, our postal service offers age verification) would be, I guess, Postident, which is used for opening bank accounts, getting a mobile phone SIM, and things like that.
0aTT 21 September 2018 at 11:51 am UTC
DrMcCoyNope, the game isn't banned in Germany.

A typically German translation error. When I write banned, I just mean locked not forbidden.

I am also allowed to own games confiscated by the courts in Germany. But I can't buy them, at least not on steam.

There are no games in Germany that are really forbidden. In practice, however, it is very difficult to come into the possession of a game. The Steam key of Wolfenstein2 (uncut) for example cannot be activated in Germany. Even a game like Portal2 is censored in Germany. Fortunately only mild.


Last edited by 0aTT at 21 September 2018 at 11:55 am UTC. Edited 2 times.
Leerdeck 21 September 2018 at 12:27 pm UTC
0aTTThe Steam key of Wolfenstein2 (uncut) for example cannot be activated in Germany.

That is on Bethesda and their ridiculous overkill self-censorship. Games are now recognized as art and of course they could try bring out the game uncensored... But let's be honest, in the end they are mostly just lazy and don't care. They rather make this ridiculous BS version and don't let people use a uncut version for no fucking reason. And that is why I don't buy their Wolfenstein shit at all.

To your other point. I'm pretty sure that this "uncensored adult" game has more than just nudity in it, right? And than the talk about Pornography. Sucks but because Steam will never implement a real age verification system (since countries like the USA and GB have no id card system and their user would run amok if you enforce this on them) such games are risky. If I buy pornography, I have to verify my age somehow. This isn't censorship (like some people screaming) this actually pretty common sense around the world. You also can't buy beer or cigarettes as teenager in the supermarket.. well legally I mean.
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