Steam Reporting: Steam to Receive Reporting Features for Offensive, Unlawful, and Malicious Content
According to an image posted of an upcoming Steam feature by the Twitter account Steam Database, it appears Valve will soon be handing the community reporting tools on Steam. By way of Gamespot, the image posted from Steam Database, a fan-tool for logging content that's on Steam's servers and in the background of client updates, shows that Valve will be giving users the ability to report software for a variety of unlawful or offensive content.
The included categories for reporting consist of offensive content such as something meant to "shock or disgust viewers", mislabeled adult content, hate speech, pornography, and child exploitation. These categories listed will be used to report games for questionable content that upsets the sensibilities of Steam's users and point out games that may or may not be properly classified.
The next round of report categories consist of the most worrying type of harmful content: software designed with malicious intent such as stealing or attempting to gather personal information and infectious code (malware or spyware). Steam users will be able to report whether a piece of software has infected their computers with viruses or requested access to things it shouldn't be asking for.
Lastly, the categories Legal Violation and Defamatory exist so that Steam users can point out content that aims to tread on illegal and libelous ground, respectively.
There's no question that Valve's Steam service is a massive tool for the PC gaming community, for developers and consumers alike. Valve has said that they're working on making Steam a self-publishing service, so these tools will help out users when that time comes, but should quality control really be left up to Steam's users, so far as to leave it in our hands to point out software on the service with infectious code?
Self-publishing will make it it easier than ever for indie devs to get their games on Steam; a place where they can potentially change their lives and sell their games to loads of people, but self-publishing seems to hold a lot of risk as well, beyond just the poor quality game being put on the store. As a PC gamer, I value Steam and respect what it does, but I can't help but be worried that the lack of quality control will become an issue in the future. I guess we'll see as time goes on.