Steam’s profanity filters put you in control of chat content

Steam’s profanity filters put you in control of chat content

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Igor Bonifacic / Engadget

Steam’s latest feature allows you to tweak your chat settings to obscure profanity, slurs and any other words you don’t want to see while using the platform. It builds on filtering options Valve developed for games like CS:GO and Dota 2.   

In addition to a default list of words selected by Valve, you have the option to define your own list. Whatever combination of words you decide to filter, they’ll be obscured by symbols across the platform. By default, the feature won’t censor messages your send to you — though you can tweak that as well. 

“We know marginalized groups can reclaim language for themselves, and we don’t want to stand in the way of them from doing so chatting with one another on Steam,” Valve says by way of reasoning for the latter decision. 

Another handy option is that you can upload filter lists from third-party sources. Valve suggests this feature will allow groups and communities to work together to define and share their own set of guidelines. What Steam’s new chat filters won’t do is prevent people from sending you an offensive message in the first place. As usual, Valve is putting the onus on its users to protect themselves instead of taking it upon itself to moderate the Steam community. 

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