• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

Why I deleted my Steam account (gamesindustry.biz article)

family_guy

Member
Mar 17, 2013
9,675
3
690
After PewDiePie dropped his racist interjection, Firewatch developer Campo Santo had the popular streamer's video of the game pulled from YouTube using the service's copyright claims process. Angry gamers then began review bombing the title on Steam, and poured into the game-specific forums to flood them with abuse. Because that's how it's done now. Because we are gamers and every avenue of feedback available to us must be weaponized so that we can have things our way. Because we're so upset about a developer using a questionable invocation of the DMCA that we would crusade arm-in-arm with overt racists and human garbage rather than let our rage go unvented for even a moment. (See also: People actually concerned with ethics in games journalism who provided willing cover for virulent misogynists and harassers during GamerGate.)

Most of those threads in the Firewatch forum have since been consolidated, with the most exceptionally racist ones being deleted. But it wasn't Valve who handled the clean up, because Valve offloads moderation of game-specific forums to the developers. Just like translation of its store pages or curation of its catalog, Valve seems to like nothing more to offload the work on others. That approach might be fine for some functions, but the company cannot abdicate responsibility for the community and culture that has come from its own neglect
Right now you can find Hatred, Playing History 2 - Slave Trade, and House Party on the storefront, showing that Valve has no problem with the glorification of mass shootings, the trivialization of atrocities, or the gamification of rape. We can give them some points for consistency though, as the availability of Paranautical Activity suggests Valve is unwilling to take a stand even against death threats to its own founder.

This same approach of course applies to the Steam community, which technically has guidelines, but little interest in enforcing them. Hey, there's a guideline forbidding racism and discrimination, weird. I guess "Nazi Recruitment Group Order#1" (NSFW) with the swastika logo and 76 members has just fallen through the cracks for the last two years. And that user, "F*** Blacks," with a graphic avatar of a man fellating himself? I'm sure he just changed it and I just happened to visit the site in the split-second that was online before he was banned.

More at the link.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-09-14-why-i-deleted-my-steam-account

This stuff wouldn't fly on consoles. It's a shame Valve doesn't do better. I pretty much use Steam just to launch games though and don't use any of the other features.
 

Atolm

Member
Jun 4, 2010
4,153
0
575
Galicia, Spain
Valve is like Twitter in this regard. They don't care if the money keeps flowing.

Beside, from what I've read about him, Gaben sounds like a libertarian totally in line with laissez faire doctrines.
 

jennetics

Member
Dec 7, 2015
1,560
2
355
Right now you can find Hatred, Playing History 2 - Slave Trade, and House Party on the storefront, showing that Valve has no problem with the glorification of mass shootings, the trivialization of atrocities, or the gamification of rape.

Holy shit...what's wrong with people...
 

CypherSignal

Member
Feb 20, 2011
736
0
0
Montreal
Also worth noting that awhile back that a notable dev who got review-bombed, got this in response:


So "pretend it doesn't exist and don't cause a ruckus" apparently is considered to be more effective than "work to police this shit"?
 

ViolentP

Member
Jan 13, 2009
6,700
1,050
1,410
The internet. It will either remain a wild west, or it will become policed. But it can't be both.
 

benicillin

Banned
Mar 31, 2012
5,306
0
0
Valve does absolutely nothing to police their community or help developers. Like, it's really frustrating how little they seem to care.
 

Tomodachi

Member
May 19, 2006
3,311
0
0
Italy
I got a lot of hate for defending Campo Santo in my "review" of Firewatch (I loved, LOVED the game but never reviewed it because I simply don't do that much on steam, but I felt the need to when I saw the rating dropping drastically after that debacle), with people attacking me personally and using the n word. There's not even a "report abusive comment" feature. It's crazy.
My love for Valve grows thinner every day, I'm sad to admit.
 

ZugZug123

Member
Feb 5, 2015
488
0
0
Nice to see Valve's lack of customer support for customers extends to the people and companies that publish games too, which are supposed to also be their customers.

Eventually someone will eat Steam's lunch and they either improve or Valve cashes out and walks away. Given how lazy they seem to be at Valve, my bet would be on the latter.
 

Blam

Member
Jun 7, 2016
6,112
1,108
810
Honestly what do you expect they have 10000 games on steam there's no way to moderate everything, and pay people to do all of that. It would require insane amounts of cash. And even then they do have community moderators who have higher power then moderators for specific games. Those guys have contacts at valve so it's much easier to report em like that. Their moderation system is fine. If you introduce paid moderators then things get out of wack and then people will become elitists in a sense.

I am talking solely about the moderation situation here. I personally see it as working fine. It's worked for reddit for 7+ years. Surely it'll keep working. People on there have massive amounts of push back to any moderators making any cent off of their subreddits and there's arguements about it all the time.

Nice to see Valve's lack of customer support for customers extends to the people and companies that publish games too, which are supposed to also be their customers.

Eventually someone will eat Steam's lunch and they either improve or Valve cashes out and walks away. Given how lazy they seem to be at Valve, my bet would be on the latter.

They've got 20ish people to service 100 million plus customers. They surely need to improve this since it's a horrible ratio.

Valve will never cash out and walk away. That will take a good fucking force, and a I seriously mean a good force out of their position to do that. Even then they'll just fight back.
 

Linkark07

Banned
Mar 1, 2012
6,097
1
515
the issue is steam's monopoly.

Exactly. That's why I'm always disappointed when people complain about a game being in Origin or Uplay, and also one of the reasons I'm a big supporter of GOG (besides DRM-Free).

Valve basically only cares that Steam is running and receiving the money. They don't care about anything else, which is disappointing. And as long as they continue having that monopoly and not a competitor that is actually threatening them, they will continue with that attitude.
 

Kthulhu

Member
Jul 22, 2015
11,259
3
0
Houston, Texas
Valve is like Twitter in this regard. They don't care if the money keeps flowing.

Beside, from what I've read about him, Gaben sounds like a libertarian totally in line with laissez faire doctrines.

Replace Valve, Twitter, and Gabe with most of silicon valley and you're right on track.
 

EmiPrime

Member
May 16, 2013
10,085
2
405
Honestly what do you expect they have 10000 games on steam there's no way to moderate everything. And even then they do have community moderators who have higher power then moderators for specific games. Those guys have contacts at valve so it's much easier to report em like that.

Also I personally think this way is fine. Reddit does it and it's worked out fine and so has Valve.

My eyes just glazed over.
 

Fou-Lu

Member
Mar 25, 2010
10,099
4
0
Canada
I wish I could separate myself from Steam but 99% of my PC games are connected to it. I should start buying more through GOG in the future.
 

Zafir

Member
May 11, 2011
13,529
0
0
United Kingdom
Honestly what do you expect they have 10000 games on steam there's no way to moderate everything. And even then they do have community moderators who have higher power then moderators for specific games. Those guys have contacts at valve so it's much easier to report em like that.

Also I personally think this way is fine. Reddit does it and it's worked out fine and so has Valve.


They've got 20ish people to service 100 million plus customers. Valve will never cash out and walk away.

I don't see how reddit is remotely a good comparison. One is a message board with the exact purpose of opinion posting, meanwhile Steam is primarily a store front for digital games.

They make loads of money. Sure they may not have the staff at the moment to improve customer service (to developers and to us, the consumers), but they damn well have the money to hire people to get through said stuff.
 

Teslacrashed

Neo Member
Jul 4, 2009
34
0
0
I do think Steam needs to take more responsibility in policing their website. It's been obvious for years they are either criminally understaffed, unable to deal with the monstrosity they have created, or both.

Flagrant hate groups shouldn't exist if it is against their terms of agreement, especially if they've been reported long ago in the past.

I do think deleting your account is a bit extreme, because in good faith I can't accept that Valve is doing this to support hate groups, they are just being really negligent because now all they want to do is print money and not concern themselves with what happens as that goes on.
 

Blam

Member
Jun 7, 2016
6,112
1,108
810
I don't see how reddit is remotely a good comparison. One is a message board with the exact purpose of opinion posting, meanwhile Steam is primarily a store front for digital games.

They make loads of money. Sure they may not have the staff at the moment to improve customer service (to developers and to us, the consumers), but they damn well have the money to hire people to get through said stuff.

I mean sure I get what you mean they shouldn't have 20 people to 100million plus. I think the moderator situation is fine but customer service is eh.
 

Crankshaft

Member
Feb 5, 2013
2,159
4
0
So my Steam account is gone, or presumably will be once Steam Support gets around to fulfilling my request. While I would encourage everyone reading this to consider whether Steam is a community they want to associate themselves with, I have to acknowledge this is not a huge sacrifice for me. I'm losing access to dozens of games and a backlog of purchased-but-unplayed titles, but I'm not primarily a PC gamer.

I'm sorry but steam is for buying and playing video games. If you delete your account because what some internet trolls are doing well then good job killing an ant with a bazooka.

It's not that Valve is not aware of their issues. They are probably in an office room right now discussing how to handle the issue. You don't need to sacrifice your account "to make a point". The point is already made and understood. Valve's problem is that they don't say anything until they have made a concise plan on how to fix something. In this high speed world where everyone expects an answer instantly that is just too slow by their definition.
 

tuxfool

Banned
Oct 21, 2014
16,148
1
0
the issue is steam's monopoly.

How many millions of times does this need to be spelled out?

STEAM IS NOT A MONOPOLY.

If people are going to want solutions or want Valve to sort out its problems, the least they can do is not misidentify the problems.
 

Hilbert

Deep into his 30th decade
Mar 17, 2008
7,891
15
1,055
Seattle, Wa
Honestly what do you expect they have 10000 games on steam there's no way to moderate everything. And even then they do have community moderators who have higher power then moderators for specific games. Those guys have contacts at valve so it's much easier to report em like that.

Also I personally think this way is fine. Reddit does it and it's worked out fine and so has Valve.


They've got 20ish people to service 100 million plus customers. Valve will never cash out and walk away.

This era of companies hosting nigh uncountable content (steam, youtube, reddit) and relying solely on automated or community moderation is about to come crashing down. It's not sustainable. Eventually companies are going to have to hire armies of actual people to handle it.
 
Aug 10, 2016
861
0
0
It is good that more and more people are steering awat that huge pile of shit. Welcome to the light side.

Steam fanboys are the worst in the "gaming" culture. They'll defend it no matter what. Like that one bloke in this very thread.

EDIT. I am also primarily a PC gamer, but most of the games I play are in GOG, Uplay or Origin. I can live without some games, I get most of what I want anyway.
 

EmiPrime

Member
May 16, 2013
10,085
2
405
I do think Steam needs to take more responsibility in policing their website. It's been obvious for years they are either criminally understaffed, unable to deal with the monstrosity they have created, or both.

Flagrant hate groups shouldn't exist if it is against their terms of agreement, especially if they've been reported long ago in the past.

I do think deleting your account is a bit extreme, because in good faith I can't accept that Valve is doing this to support hate groups, they are just being really negligent because now all they want to do is print money and not concern themselves with what happens as that goes on.

At what point does negligence become complicity?

The longer this goes on the less inclined I am to give them the benefit of the doubt.
 

Tagyhag

Member
Aug 21, 2013
17,881
4
465
Los Angeles
I'm not asking for Valve to do the work themselves, they don't have enough people. People forget that Valve has around 300 employees and they're not all customer service and doing other stuff.

They also get around 20 new games a day so that's 20 new games to police every single day, in a sea of over 10000. That's not easy for like 25 people.

But Valve should stop being so restrictive when it comes to paying other companies to do the work.

Follow your own guidelines and have others police them. Otherwise, you just look powerless.
 

Hari Seldon

Member
Dec 5, 2008
16,885
1,542
1,230
Good for you bro, but the easier thing to do is to not wade into the forums. I have hundreds of games on there, I'm not deleting my account.
 

Blam

Member
Jun 7, 2016
6,112
1,108
810
This era of companies hosting nigh uncountable content (steam, youtube, reddit) and relying solely on automated or community moderation is about to come crashing down. It's not sustainable. Eventually companies are going to have to hire armies of actual people to handle it.

I don't see Reddit doing it. YouTube & Steam maybe. If either would do this, they'd need to pick from someone outside of Steam/YouTube not using the system at all. Since you'd want no bias with problems like this.

Good for you bro, but the easier thing to do is to not wade into the forums. I have hundreds of games on there, I'm not deleting my account.

Yeah I've spent countless hours and thousands of dollars I'd rather not throw that all away.
 

tuxfool

Banned
Oct 21, 2014
16,148
1
0
This era of companies hosting nigh uncountable content (steam, youtube, reddit) and relying solely on automated or community moderation is about to come crashing down. It's not sustainable. Eventually companies are going to have to hire armies of actual people to handle it.

Honestly. I'd think that Valve's solution would be to nuke community forums, before actually hiring people to police them.

Personally, I'd not have any issue with either solution. It's not like there aren't a thousand other places to have a discussion about a game.
 

kswiston

Member
Mar 25, 2005
35,134
2
0
Canada
This era of companies hosting nigh uncountable content (steam, youtube, reddit) and relying solely on automated or community moderation is about to come crashing down. It's not sustainable.

It doesnt help that Valve runs its multibillion dollar store front like a mom and pop start up.

How is it that Blizzard could afford to have live customer service and moderation staff for World of Warcraft, but Valve can't for Steam? All signs point to Steam pulling in quite a bit more revenue than WoW ever did.
 

Hektor

Member
Mar 10, 2015
11,281
0
485
O
steamcommunity.com
This era of companies hosting nigh uncountable content (steam, youtube, reddit) and relying solely on automated or community moderation is about to come crashing down. It's not sustainable. Eventually companies are going to have to hire armies of actual people to handle it.

And when that moment comes, they'd rather shut those features down alltogether. Why waste millions of dollars on moderating steamforums when they dont earn you any money back?

the issue is steam's monopoly.

Steam has a userbase of 125 million people.

The toxcity in unmoderatorable amounts will always be there regardless of good or bad competition.
 

entremet

Member
Dec 6, 2008
85,707
384
1,455
Human moderation is extremely unscalable. GAF has a fraction of the users of Steam and has quite a bit of moderators. Moreover, there are other moderation channels here too--pay email requirements, waiting periods, probationary periods (junior members).

These are also different business models. Every time someone thinks that applying human moderation to sites with millions of users, it makes me scratch my head.
 

collige

Banned
Nov 12, 2012
4,892
0
445
I can certainly see the argument for Valve to moderate groups, but having individual game forums moderated by their respective developers makes complete sense. Devs should be able to opt out of having one for their game if they aren't already though.
 

Temeculan3000

Member
Sep 1, 2016
651
0
210
Has Steam ever declared themselves a free-speech platform? Reddit used to, and that was the reason so many terrible communities were found there.

Or are there really that many racists in the video game community that they don't want to piss them off and lose business?
 

EmiPrime

Member
May 16, 2013
10,085
2
405
Even if we accept that Steam are under-staffed (although that's a problem of their own making) you can't tell me that their automated systems didn't pick up on "Nazi Recruitment Group Order" nor that a relatively high profile game like Hatred somehow slipped under their radar.
 

ultratruman

Banned
Oct 28, 2013
3,481
0
0
Glasgow
they're a company not a convent.

If you're "disappointed" in a corporation for only caring about its bottom line, you deserve to be offended.
 
Aug 17, 2013
241
3
310
Washington DC area
Yeah I'm not deleting my account. I've never used their forums... will continue to not use them. To be honest I don't actually care what they choose to do to steam forums, even if it's nothing. I still prefer what they give me to any other similar service. If someone can take the crown I'm open to it, but youtube comments don't keep me off youtube... steam forums won't discourage me from using steam.
 

ArjanN

Member
Dec 7, 2008
16,815
0
0
Netherlands
Valve is only a monopoly in the same sense as Usain Boly had a monopoly on running the fastest, i.e. he didn't, he just dominated by being way better than the competition.
 

kswiston

Member
Mar 25, 2005
35,134
2
0
Canada
Let us all move to Origin!

This sort of highlights the problem with trying to break yourself of the Steam habit. No other storefront/client has a fraction of the content. Even if you had GoG, UPlay, and Origin, you would miss out on a ton of stuff.

So many of the other digital retailers just sell steam keys.
 

Slayven

Member
Dec 10, 2004
121,783
7
0
USA
People using "They are too big" excuse for steam, Facebook, Twitter, etc are sad. They are a multinational, billion dollar company they can put in SOME effort. I mean even in clear examples like firewatch and the lizard game/jontron they do nothing. Not even a token effort.
 

legacyzero

Banned
Feb 20, 2011
27,932
307
1,030
Nebraska
www.youtube.com
People using "They are too big" excuse for steam, Facebook, Twitter, etc are sad. I mean even in clear examples like firewatch and the lizard game/jontron they do nothing. Not even a token effort.
Even more so are these companies are rich as fuck and perfectly capable to hire actual humans to mitigate shit like that.