Steam Tests Customizable Chat Filter for Blocking Certain Words

Steam is testing a new chat filter system that’ll allow users to customize their experience by blocking certain words or phrases they don’t want to see. A chat filtering service is already in place on many of Steam’s games, but this one that’s currently part of the Steam Labs program will give users more control. Users can still disable their chat filters if they choose to do so to let chat flow unfiltered through your online games.

The Steam team introduced users to the Steam Text & Chat Filtering system this week in a blog post on the Steam Community site. If you want to partake in the test, you can do so by heading to your account settings and opting into the Steam Labs filter system.

Seeing how Steam already had a filtering system in place to block out the most egregious instances of profanity and other offensive language, the Steam community team gave some insights into why this new program is being offered to users.

“With chat filtering, we've obscured the most offensive language shared on Steam,” the Steam post explained. “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. You may also upload lists of words or phrases from other sources, empowering groups and communities to work together to define and share your own sets of language guidelines. We believe this level of control is especially important given that language is constantly evolving and is used differently among various communities around the world. So with Steam chat filtering, we've made sure you can choose to filter language as much as you want, or not at all.”

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If you’ve been in online games where a chat system exists for any length of time, you’ve likely encountered this sort of language that people may want to filter out of their communications. Requests for stricter measures are often met with responses like “just mute them” from those who aren’t bothered by the language which isn’t a particularly helpful option since you then can’t communicate with your teammates. This new chat filter system appears to be working towards a compromise to those stances since people can filter out as much of their chat as they want now and still communicate.

Steam’s new chat filtering system is now available for those who want to test it.