How to Block Racism, Profanity and Spam in Steam Chats

Tired of getting swear words in Steam chats? Tired of seeing words, phrases or political statements that make you wonder why you bother using chat rooms at all? With the new beta feature, you can block various words and phrases from appearing in any chat through Valve’s Steam service.

I’d really like this to be a feature in, say, Blizzard’s Starcraft II chats. Even I get tired of reporting trolls after trolls – a seemingly futile attempt to make sure I don’t pair up with assholes in my co-op games. I don’t chat often on Steam, but you can bet I’ll take advantage of this feature in a second if I ever go to group chats. And even if you don’t mind the rare (or frequent) offensive phrases, the Steam blocking tool is great for removing chat spam.

To get started, launch Steam and go to the store home page. Find the tiny “Steam Labs” option on the top navigation bar of the store and click on it:

Then find experiment “011 Text Filtering” and click on the large “Try Text Filtering Now” field. You cannot miss this.

You will be taken to the Community Content Settings section of your Steam Account Settings, where you will need to click Join Experiment to enable the Steam Text Filtering feature:

When you do this, you will have many new possibilities for the game:

As you will see, you can choose between different poisons: no profanity or any kind of insults, profanity, but no insults, and a wild west approach. You can also let your friends say whatever they want, but censor what random Steam users dump to you. You can even add words and phrases to the perma-allow or -block list and upload them to Steam using a simple .TXT file, one word or phrase per line. (And there are tons of existing lists that you can use if you really want to commit everything.)

Honestly, I’m not a prude, but this is a great way to at least minimize annoying spam in Steam chats. While I wish it were possible to completely hide words or phrases rather than just overwrite them with symbols, this is one step closer to blissful silence.

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