Steam users will soon be able to have more control over their conversations, as Valve has begun testing out new private chat filters that can block offensive language, slurs, and other strong profanity from the platform and in certain games. Currently being tested out as a Steam Labs Experiment, Valve says that the chat filters will give users the option to filtrate colorful language based on their own preferences.
“With chat filtering, we’ve obscured the most offensive language shared on Steam,” Valve explained in a blog post. “You can alter your settings to control whether profanity and slurs are displayed, and because each player’s tolerance for difficult words is unique, we’ve included the ability to add or remove words to form your personal filter.”
Valve says that users will be able to upload lists of words and phrases from other sources to the filter, which will help groups define what language is offensive to them. This level of control was designed with the constant evolution of language in mind, and even references how marginalized groups have reclaimed language for themselves and reappropriated slurs into their own vernacular.
“Some of the time, people have negative experiences on Steam due to their encounters with, in the worst case, bad actors, or simply with others whose tolerance for various forms of language differ from their own,” Valve said. “A playful match can quickly turn to a heated competition full of emotion and expression, some of which crosses a line. But where is that line? We’ve found the answer is different for everyone.”
Steam’s new chat filters will eventually roll out to all users, but if you’re curious you can try it out right now for yourself. Simply click your profile icon, navigate to preferences and check the option under community content preferences to join the Text Filtering experiment to make your Steam account chats family friendly.
There have been a few other additions to Steam lately, such as a playtest button for developers looking to invite players to try their games in beta and a new front page display for community reviews.
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