Managing a community can be a very difficult task without it devolving into a mass of trolls and bigots. In an upcoming update to Steam, Valve will allow developers to get moderation assistance from Valve’s own moderation team.
On the official Steamworks Development community group, Valve announced a big change to community moderation. Starting next Tuesday, Valve’s moderation team will start reviewing reported discussion posts for all Steam games. However, they won’t be looking at every forum post, as that would take an extensive amount of effort. Valve will only examine posts reported by other Steam users.
Valve promises not to interfere with normal forum activity:
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. We’ll only be communicating with players if it’s necessary when issuing a warning or ban for reported content.
Valve also explained their decision in making this change to forum moderation:
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.
Fortunately for those who don’t want or need Valve’s help, there’s an option to opt out of their assistance. Maybe some developers prefer having total control, or maybe they already have their own moderation staff. Still, it sounds like a useful tool for those who need it.
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