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General Category => Blog => Topic started by: kat on June 10, 2018, 12:18:13 AM

Title: Fact-check: Valve will no longer police Steam Store
Post by: kat on June 10, 2018, 12:18:13 AM

TL:DR. If outside third-parties want to dictate the rules by which Valve assesses content on Steam, they can accept legal and financial liable for any and all consequences in this being so.

As a matter of fact: Valve will no longer police its service.

Fact Check: True/False

Since Valves announcing it will be taking a more laissez-faire (https://www.britannica.com/topic/laissez-faire) approach to policing Steam Store ("Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store? (https://steamcommunity.com/games/593110/announcements/detail/1666776116200553082)"), press and media coverage on the matter has almost universally represented the move as an abandonment of the service to alt-right, alt-lite, Nazi-bigot, racist-mongering mongers, and that in various ways Valve is telling the world it no longer cares about [insert current-year cause]. In essence that 0.001%[1] of content will somehow spread, infecting Steam Store into oblivion (or so the catastrophic rhetoric seems to suggest. Ed.).

Checking such claims and assertions against what Valve actually said (cf. below), as a matter of fact(TM): Valve did not say they will stop policing Steam Store[2]; their actual words were that they would "focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam". Or more plainly, Valve is making it clear (in ever-so-nice-a-way) they "will be focusing less on policing Steam the way a vocal minority are saying we should, instead leaving it up to its developers and users, customers who actually use the service.".

It's no wonder Valves decision has so many up in arms. The resulting splatterfest of opined column inches is not about Valve's Steam Store policing policy per se, rather it not being done in deference to wholly unaccountable[3] outside interests whose motivations are not aligned with Steams broader user-base.

If you're a player, we shouldn't be choosing for you what content you can or can't buy. If you're a developer, we shouldn't be choosing what content you're allowed to create. ... Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself... ... we've decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling. Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see.

[1] 0.001% is pure speculation as definitive demographic data to qualify the claim is not available to the public.

[2] if Valve are to act on 'illegal' and 'trolling' content they need to be actively policing/monitoring Steam Store to some degree as a prerequisite to facilitate enforcement of that policy.

[3] the problem with capitulating or acting in deference to third-parties is that they are never the ones holding the ball when things go belly up... should a developer or customer sue Valve as a consequence of third-party induced policy changes or enforcement, who is then responsible for servicing that action (the same problem arises from use of third-party Codes of Conduct (https://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=930.0)).
Title: Re: Fact-check: Valve will no longer police Steam Store
Post by: kat on September 06, 2018, 05:44:00 PM
Follow-up on this issues from Valve, particularly in regards to 'trolling'. (https://steamcommunity.com/games/593110/announcements/detail/1708442022337025126)
You're a denizen of the internet so you know that trolls come in all forms. On Steam, some are simply trying to rile people up with something we call "a game shaped object" (ie: a crudely made piece of software that technically and just barely passes our bar as a functioning video game but isn't what 99.9% of folks would say is "good"). Some trolls are trying to scam folks out of their Steam inventory items, others are looking for a way to generate a small amount of money off Steam through a series of schemes that revolve around how we let developers use Steam keys. Others are just trying to incite and sow discord. Trolls are figuring out new ways to be loathsome as we write this. But the thing these folks have in common is that they aren't actually interested in good faith efforts to make and sell games to you or anyone. When a developer's motives aren't that, they're probably a troll.