Steam Greenlight
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seorin Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:26am
Concerned about deceptive business practices
There is a certain game on Greenlight right now which received a multitude of negative comments. These comments violated no rules that I can tell, and yet even the most harmless of them are now gone. Given the game in question, it appears that the developer who submitted the game has moderation control over his own comments board and is using it to present an extremely one-sided view of his game.

This kind of censorship is extremely dangerous to the integrity of the Greenlight system. What avenue do gamers have to present alternative opinions about why a game should not be Greenlit? If Greenlight is supposed to be about the community, the community's voice needs to be heard even when it's not positive - especially when it's not positive.

Edit: It's confirmed that developers can both delete user comments and ban users from their project page. Multiple developers are actively abusing this feature in order to shape public opinion of their games instead of letting the community speak for itself. Until Valve corrects this, users cannot read Greenlight project pages in good faith. It is impossible to distinguish between a genuinely good product and one that only looks good because the developer has culled all criticism.

Please, Valve, don't let developers distort and misrepresent our opinions on a service that was designed to actually listen to our opinions in the first place.

Double Edit: The new community discussions appeared to be the perfect place for the kind of open discussion we're asking for, but it turns out those are developer controlled as well. I'm honestly really disappointed by this. Asking developers to become moderators is a distraction from their development time as well as a gag for the community. I really don't want to see games with unfinished and/or objectionable content making their way on to Steam because the developers have been handed all the tools they need to prevent that information from ever coming to light.

Another Edit: Now Steam moderators are temporarily banning users from Greenlight discussions for voicing their opinions on a game if the developer wants those opinions censored. The only place we are allowed to post those opinions are in the main Greenlight discussion forum, where most Greenlight voters will never see them. It's been made abundantly clear that informed and rational opinions are unwelcome if they happen to paint the game in a negative light.

I'm extremely disappointed in Steam over this, and I will not be participating in any Greenlight communities as a result. Real communities cannot take root in a forum where opinions are deleted and ignored instead of responded to. Kudos to the developers with the moral fortitude to resist that obvious temptation, but shame on Steam for tempting them at all, and for pushing the burden of moderation off on people who can't handle it responsibly and may not even want it in the first place. As it stands, Greenlight pages are nothing more than an advertisement - any sense of community is stifled by the overbearing threat of censorship.
Last edited by seorin; Oct 9, 2012 @ 3:00pm
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Showing 1-15 of 491 comments
Lord Motav Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:29am 
If I want to try and prevent something from being Greenlighted my opinion on why it doesn't belong on Steam shouldn't be rmeoved.

mazel tov cocktail Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:29am 
A very good point Seorin. The power is supposed to lie with us - the consumer. We need to be allowed to present opinions both good and not good.
RandonPeerson Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:30am 
That was the smartest post I have ever seen on an official steam conversation place.
Dr. Strange Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:30am 
I agree, moderating comments should be handled by steam and the community.
Vertx Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:31am 
I shall bump this to make it float above the deluge of crap, because my posts sure haven't even though they're actually about improving this system.
Hyetal Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:31am 
xym Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:34am 
Agreed - that seems very shady.
Hey seorin (what a coincidence, just finished reading UBW yesterday), I agree entirely.
Is there any reason you didn't link the game? I think I know what it is, but we could probably see it by ourselves.
Ragequit Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:38am 
I agree with this 100% - it's even something that has affected one of my comments for a game already. How else are we supposed to get the word out on stolen games, bad developers, etc.?
Dauntless |UKCS| Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:41am 
The OP covers it all, totally agree with this!
seorin Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:45am 
KoldPT: I didn't link it for a few reasons, the biggest being that I don't want to give it even more attention. Negative comments need to be on the game page itself, otherwise the negative press can still have a positive effect just due to increased exposure.
Fair enough.
icecreamjones Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:47am 
Which game is it? Backlash time :V
Pridit Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:47am 
I never knew they were able to do this, that's manipulation at it's finest. Should definetly be changed.
AxeManiac Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:50am 
I wouldn't let the community decide, you saw what happened with the game hubs, but Valve should be running some protection here. You should hire a well known moderator to help you.
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Date Posted: Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:26am
Posts: 491