In a Steam blog post, Valve wrote, «In the past, we’ve been hesitant to get involved in the moderation of individual game discussions, as we 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. But 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.»
Valve has announced that the company will start moderating comments on individual game discussions. Previously, Valve only moderated Steam’s screenshots, artwork, guides, user profiles, community groups, and user reviews.
Valve still won’t be actively scanning through forums and comment threads for hurtful comments or posts that violate the company’s community guidelines. In hopes of preserving a developer’s voice and style of communication with their players, everything will still have to be reported by a Steam user for the company to step in and review a post. If you’re a developer who’s playfully hurtful and sarcastic with your fans, then Valve won’t go after you if you continue to do so unless a user reports you.
It’s been a tough year for Valve. The company has gone back and forth on several policies in regards to Steam and how the platform responds to censorship, and received severe backlash for several of those decisions. Earlier this year, Valve’s Erik Johnson wrote that the company would now just allow anything to go live on Steam provided it wasn’t illegal or «straight up trolling.» This announcement was followed a few months later with the news that Valve had approved Negligee: Love Stories to launch on Steam. The game is the first uncensored adult title to ever release on the platform.