Posted in: Gaming News
Published:
December 12, 2019 7:41 AM UTC

It Shouldn’t Take Government Intervention for Valve to Clean Up Steam

Valve has a bad reputation when it comes to quality control. They recently removed a slew of Nazi and Anti-Semitic content from Steam at the behest of the German Government's media regulation authority. They're still not doing enough to keep their store clear. Steam has…

  • Valve has a bad reputation when it comes to quality control.
  • They recently removed a slew of Nazi and Anti-Semitic content from Steam at the behest of the German Government’s media regulation authority.
  • They’re still not doing enough to keep their store clear.

Steam has something of a garbage problem. From the games on the store to the groups in the community, there is a lot of trash floating around. Valve has occasionally deigned to actually do something about it, but not anywhere near often enough.

Valve recently went on a binge of getting rid of some pretty hateful content. They’ve deleted a bunch of nazi-related groups and content, but they didn’t do it because they’re taking a pro-active stance against it. Instead, they removed the content because the German government’s media agency asked them to. Frankly, it’s just not good enough.

With Valve’s ‘hands-off’ approach games like this have been allowed to thrive. | Source: Steam

Valve Need to Employ More Moderators

Valve is a huge company. They’re worth billions of dollars and employ hundreds of people. Yet, they only employ about 13 people to scrub through and clean up community content. That is a stunningly small amount for a service like Steam which has over 10 million people online at any given time.

It doesn’t seem difficult for Valve to hire a decent number of people to filter through the trash before a major government body has to intervene. Really this should extend beyond community content. It’s not just community groups and user-made mods that need checking, it’s the games themselves.

I don’t think it’s an unreasonable request to ask Valve to keep their house in order. Instead of putting so much effort into the secondary cosmetics market for Team Fortress 2, all they need to do is devote some resources to the marketplace of Steam itself.

Valve has millions of active users at any given time, with that much traffic on their service they need to put more effort into moderation. | Source: Steam

Things Are Getting Better, but We Need to Keep the Pressure On

Recently Valve has seemed to be making more of an effort with their quality control. Back in late November, they did clean up a big chunk of games that were ‘abusing Steamworks’. They’ve also hired one extra community moderator in the past two years…wait, that doesn’t sound so great.

Okay so Valve might not be making all that much headway, but they’re trying I suppose. It would generally be better for everyone if they could just get a dedicated team on the job. Not only would it mean Steam’s reputation for quality content could be recaptured, but it would mean more jobs were created, which is always a good thing.

As it currently stands it doesn’t seem all that likely that Valve will do anything drastic. They’ve pledged to train their community moderation staff better, but that seems like an empty promise at best. It is the Holiday season, supposedly.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

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Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:41 PM UTC

William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Contact him at: william.worrall@ccn.com

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