Screenshot of the Balrog from Shadow of War

In an announcement that I must admit comes as a massive surprise, Valve has now revealed that they will be providing free forum moderation for all games on Steam. Yes, you read that right. Valve, the company that is so hands-off that they barely even produce the items they sell in Dota 2, has actually just announced that they will be taking on the rather herculean task of keeping the Steam forums civil!

"Starting on Tuesday, when a discussion thread or post in your community is reported by a player, it will be added to a queue for our moderation team to review," reads the brief update. "We’ll look at these reported posts (along with all other reported content we are already reviewing) and remove anything that violates our Community Guidelines."

"Don’t worry: We won’t be actively perusing your community discussions or posting in threads - you have your own voice and your own style of communication with players about your game. We’ll only be communicating with players if it's necessary when issuing a warning or ban for reported content."

While I do joke about the idea, I honestly think this is a pretty darn good move on Valve's part. Moderating even a small forum requires a large amount of time, especially if the game in question is going through a troubling period, so helping the developers out by giving them free access to trained moderators really is a lifesaver. That said, I doubt this will greatly reduce the amount of anger that tends to flow through the Steam forums, but as long as that anger is being prevented from spreading freely I'd say that's still a solid victory.

You can learn more about this system, as well as Valve's reasoning behind it, by visiting the Steam forums.