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People have repeatedly shown that, when given anonymity on the Internet, they’ll do terrible things to each other Cyber Bullying Unmasked - The Tragic Case Of Cassidy Cyber Bullying Unmasked - The Tragic Case Of Cassidy Kids can be cruel. Almost as cruel as so-called grown-ups. That cruelty has found its way on to the web and into the lives of countless young people who thought they might be able to... Read More . This is why gaming communities like Steam have set up community rules to keep things civil. So what do you do when a Steam player violates the community rules? Here’s everything you need to know.

Common Violations

Steam has a number of different rules for its members, but a few of them address some very common issues in online multiplayer gaming. Here’s a short list, drawn from the online conduct and rules and guidelines for discussions, reviews, and user-generated content pages.

The following activities are prohibited:

Obviously, this last item gives you a lot of leeway in what to report. But if someone is doing something that detracts from your gaming experience, you have the right to report it. If you want to see the other rules, click the links to the Steam pages above.

Do These Things Happen?

You don’t have to look very far to find stories of harassment, abuse, and cheating on Steam. Shortly after it debuted the ability for gamers to add tags to games and other pages, both the game Fez and its developer, Phil Fish, were attacked with tags like “diva dev,” “bipolar,” and “Phil Fish sucks.” Gone Home, a simple and emotional game 3 Video Games That Will Touch You Emotionally 3 Video Games That Will Touch You Emotionally In spite of being a young medium, a game comes along every now and then with a story that truly hits you deep in your heart. Certain games actually use the interactive nature of games... Read More that was met with critical acclaim, also got slammed by gamers’ “not a game,” “overrated,” and “feminist” tags.

Individual gamers have repeatedly posted stories of incessant swearing, racial harassment, and sexual harassment. Wired detailed a particularly disturbing form of sexual harassment in an article on Jenny Haniver, who logged over 200 individual examples of her own harassment on gaming sites (that figure comes from 2014, so the total could be much higher now). And we all know about Zoe Quinn’s repeated and alarming sexual harassment.

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It’s not just angsty teens who feel the need to be jerks online—two League of Legends pros were banned for six months as well as fined for dishing out “verbal abuse” and “racial slurs” during games. In 2013, a player was banned for life due to persistent verbal abuse, racism, anti-Semitism, and threatening behavior.

Cheating gets reported too. In games like Call of Duty, Evolve, and Civilization, people have found ways to alter the games to make it easier to win or scam their way to the top of leaderboards, denying more honest players a chance at Steam fame.

It’s not like these actions are hidden, either—it’s easy to find a number of Steam groups specifically set up for people to engage in harassment, abuse, and “griefing,” or taking advantage of game mechanics to frustrate other players for no practical gain.

How Do You Report Abuse, Harassment, or Other Violations on Steam?

Reporting abuse on Steam is very simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the user’s Steam Community profile.
  2. Click on the large “More” button in the upper-right corner of the page.
  3. Select “Report Violation.”
  4. Select a category of abuse and enter a brief description.

report-steam-user

There are a number of different categories that you can choose for reporting a violation, including harassment, suspected cheating, and impersonating other users. Be sure to provide a detailed description of what’s going on and provide any evidence you can, so Steam can look into the potential violation.

steam-violation-report

Reporting a group is done in the same way, but you need to navigate to a group’s page and then hit the “Report Violation” button on the right side of the screen.

steam-group-report

If you’d like to access a Steam user’s profile while you’re playing a game, bring up the Steam overlay (the default key combination for this is shift+tab), and click “View Players” in the Friends panel on the left. Find the player who’s misbehaving and click “View Profile.” You can file a report from there.

To report a particular forum post, click on the icon to the left of the post (it looks like an exclamation point in a white-and-red warning sign).

steam-forum-report-button

Steam has made it clear that these are the best ways to submit reports of harassment, abuse, or other violations of the community rules. Submitting a support ticket won’t do you any good, and contacting moderators individually may or may not work. Sticking with the official channels is your best bet.

Will it Work?

There are varying reports of how effective reporting someone on Steam is. Reporting doesn’t result in bans, but supposedly Valve does something with the reports that we can only hope will help improve the community overall. Because Steam surely receives hundreds of reports every day, making sure that you only submit claims of actual abuse, harassment, cheating, or inappropriate content or conduct is the best way to make sure that you get heard.

People are awful to each other all over the Internet Abused, Bullied & Harassed On Facebook: 6 Ways To Get Back Your Dignity [Weekly Facebook Tips] Abused, Bullied & Harassed On Facebook: 6 Ways To Get Back Your Dignity [Weekly Facebook Tips] Facebook isn't a safe haven. A recent study by GMI revealed that one in ten Facebook users have experienced some form of abuse. Among 18 - 24 year olds, one in four were affected. Offenders... Read More —it’s one of the prices we pay Top Five Computer Crimes & How to Protect Yourself From Them Top Five Computer Crimes & How to Protect Yourself From Them Read More for the freedom we enjoy online. But multiplayer gaming has earned itself a terrible reputation for harassment and abuse. Don’t let it go unreported, and maybe we can all try to create a better atmosphere to play our favorite games in.

Have you had problems with community violations on Steam? Did you report the violation? Was action taken? Share your experiences below!

  1. Anonymous
    August 18, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Well, I met this b---h who has the username "AmoKami", they said they will come to my house and stab me to death, is that something I need to report?

    • Dann Albright
      August 21, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      Yeah, I'd say that's report-worthy. A threat of violence is never something that should be tolerated.

  2. whatsthis
    November 26, 2015 at 2:43 am

    lets pretend its bad. you guys have no rights to be telling others what community to follow

    • Dann Albright
      November 27, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      I don't understand your comment . . . let's pretend what's bad?

  3. Jonathan Delo
    March 10, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Valve doesn't outsource any work. This means that 100% of all Steam support is done by Valve employees who would probably rather be doing something else. As a result, the support is frankly terrible. This naturally includes reports. When it comes to the forums and community, every dev moderates their own game which produces some semblance of control in most communities. But when it comes to phishing attempts and the like, only Valve moderates and Valve can't be asked. I've reported more than 50 phishing accounts over the past year and I haven't seen anything happen to any of them.

    • Dann Albright
      March 12, 2015 at 7:43 am

      I've heard that reports of abuse often go unresolved, and that support can be pretty bad. I never thought about it being a problem caused by not outsourcing, though; that's an interesting idea.

      However, all I can hope is that with enough people reporting enough issues, there will be a change. That's probably overly optimistic, but it seems like our best bet at the moment.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • Anon
      February 19, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      Rockstar outsources to a company called "Poll To Win International." That is the reason everyone hates Rockstar support. Something even as little as aggravating a sales rep, will get them to ban you...

      • Dann Albright
        February 22, 2016 at 12:21 am

        I didn't know that, that's interesting. Have you had experience with their support?

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