After a brief stint in the experimental Steam Labs program, the Steam team at Valve has launched the Chat Filtering feature in full and brought the customizable filters it provides to the masses.
The exact filtering system used to create Steam’s newest feature is built based on the chat filtering used in games like Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, Destiny 2, and DOTA 2. The Steam adaptation of that tech gives individual users the ability to customize filtering in Steam itself, on both desktop, web, and mobile.
This also means that game developers can add the Steam Chat Filtering API to their own games on Steam in order to let players carry the same customizations they’re using for Steam Chat over to games on Steam as well.
One notable thing about Steam’s new chat filters is that the entire system was designed to enable flexibility partially out of an understanding that context is important when it comes to text-based exchanges. While default settings block profanity from users outside of a player’s friend list, individual Steam users are free to choose how far-reaching their chat filters are. This includes the ability to tag either specific words or phrases that a user wants to filter out of their chat experiences.
This, Valve says in a longer post on the feature, enables “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. With Steam chat filtering, we’ve made sure you can choose to filter language as much as you want, or not at all.”