Various reports have surfaced indicating that Valve is “silently” cracking down on Steam groups that contain nationalist themes, Nazi imagery, and what the media has labeled as “hate speech”.
Green Man Gaming is reporting that a variety of Steam groups are being censored or shutdown by Valve that contain language that some people find offensive. This crackdown comes after Motherboard, The Huffington Post and The Center For Investigative Reporting published articles claiming that Valve allowed various groups to promulgate “hate speech” and “hateful” iconography.
According to The Center For Investigative Reporting, they claim that there were more than 173 “hate” groups on Steam.
Some people who find it disdainful that other people use language that they don’t like, decided to form a petition to get Valve to remove all the remaining groups from Steam. The Petition Site is showing that more than 27,000 people have signed the petition to remove the groups from Steam. The Care 2 Team formed the petition, writing…
“While other online platforms have been proactive in weeding out hate groups and violent language, Steam, owned by Valve Corporation, has largely kept silent, choosing only to react when accounts of racism on the platform appear in the news.
“[…] Valve’s lackadaisical response to this type of activity shows a lack of integrity but it also provides a place where hate can fester. Case in point, 17-year-old Nicholas Giampa found a safe haven for his ideals in Steam’s chat rooms. His profile was filled with Nazi imagery and white nationalist rhetoric. Giampa was a white supremacist. When his girlfriend’s parents’ found out about his views they reported him and he shot them dead.”
Other media outlets aren’t content that Valve removed some of the Steam groups that appeared in the news media, they’re still pressuring Valve to remove even more of the groups, even though they acquiesce that the groups are likely jokes made by teenagers, such as AustrAryans, The Nationalist Party, and a variety of groups themed around the discussion and promotion of shooting up schools.
However, the call for censorship doesn’t end with what the media deems as “hate speech”. They’ve also made mention in the articles that groups like The Anti-Feminist, and Anti-Feminist Group also need to be targeted. Essentially, many of the Left-leaning websites seem to want anti-feminist groups taken down in order to prevent them from spreading the word about some of the uncouth tactics and practices that feminists use in an attempt to get games censored or banned.
Not everyone is on board with censoring the groups, however. Even some of Kotaku’s readers pointed the dangers of mislabeling and shutting down discussions that people don’t agree with, with ConfusedAmericano writing…
“You can disagree with something but wanting to censor it just starts a chain reaction. People who associate with these groups should be ostracized and shamed but censoring them and forcing them to go further into hiding just further reinforces their platforms.”
Others tried retorting by turning the discussion political, bringing up racially motivated attacks like Dylan Roof shooting up the church, as reported by CNN, or when the Atomwaffen celebrated the murder of a gay Jewish college student carried out by one of its members, as reported by ProPulbica.
However, some fired back that taking these groups out of the spotlight only emboldens them in the darkness.
“It’s a crap shoot either way. Most everyone here clearly thinks stamping them out by shutting their voice down will push them out to the degree where they won’t be a problem. Sure… that might work… or it will piss them off… embolden them to do something news worthy… something likely violent and terrible.
“Think about that Cruz kid. He WAS the fringe. There’s been no evidence presented that he socialized in a hate filled echo chamber. No one shared his views with him. Outside of the “we knew he would do something like this” 20/20 hindsight BS no one was listening to him. And look what happened. “
Valve seems to want to avoid getting caught in the cross hairs of the media’s activism campaign, and seems to be doing the bare minimum to to avoid courting controversy. A similar issue also occurred last year when Bethesda targeted the Alt-Right by attacking them in their media campaigns and began censoring their discussions on the Steam forum, prompting for a fair bit of backlash in the community and organized boycotts. However, it appears the media wants to keep the issue of censoring certain ideas in the spotlight until Valve removes all of the groups and discussions that they don’t like.
(Thanks for the news tip NeoThanos)