Next week, Valve will start moderating discussions on Steam's game forums, the first time the company has taken direct action of this kind.
As of September 25, a moderation team at Valve will review discussion posts that have been reported my members of the myriad game hubs on Steam. Developers with their own moderators will be able to opt out, but otherwise it will be assumed they want the service.
"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," Valve said in a blog post.
"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."
Reported posts will be reviewed in a queue system, and assessed against Steam's Community Guidelines. Anything found to be in violation of those guidelines will be removed, but Valve will only review posts that are reported by the community.
The toxicity of Steam's forums has been a sensitive issue for some time. Indeed, Rob Fahey articulated his concerns about the problem two years ago, and Brendan Sinclair went further still in September 2017. This is the clearest sign to date that Valve is serious about addressing the negative voices within Steam's various communities.