It appears Valve has finally started dealing with the abundance of hate groups on its Steam marketplace, with scores of these communities silently deleted.
There have been several articles about the rise of groups that broadcast racist and sexist messages over the past months, as well as users that claim to celebrate and champion school shootings - despite the tragic events in Florida earlier this year.
GamesIndustry.biz commented on Valve's lack of action against such groups back in September, but it now appears that the groups we linked to have been removed. The links now only lead to a holding page, with the message: "This group has been administratively disabled."
Kotaku notes that Valve has been known to remove hate groups as soon as they are called out by the press, but it appears the Steam firm has taken this further in this instance.
In what is believed to be the biggest crackdown on such groups to date, scores of hate groups have been quietly deleted over the past two weeks. Various groups singled out in articles on Motherboard, Huffington Post and The Center For Investigative Reporting have been removed, and searching for terms like "school shooter" or "nazi" only produces groups opposed to such things.
Valve has made no announcement on this crackdown, and indeed Kotaku notes that it has yet to respond to any enquiries about the presence of hate groups on its platform.
While the groups already discovered by the press seem to have been removed, there's no indication that Valve is attempting a comprehensive Steam-wide purge of these elements. There are still groups such as the Anti-Feminist Group (whose description contains multiple references to 'feminazis'), the Right-Wing Death Squads Union and racist groups with titles we shan't be repeating on this website.
It could be that the purge is still ongoing; two groups Kotaku found - 'i shoot up schools' and 'AustAryans' do seem to have been removed since the article went live. Nonetheless, it's still disappointing the market-leading PC games platform isn't taking more of a vocal stance against these groups.