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News video games 17 April 2023, 14:27

author: Adam Celarek

Thousands of Steam User Accounts Blocked for Liking a Negative Review

Users who positively evaluated the text of a certain unlucky review had experience some very unpleasant consequences. Fortunately, the case has reached a happy ending.

Nearly 2,500 players using Steam encountered a rather unpleasant surprise recently. A temporary ban awaited the unlucky users, preventing them from using some of the community functions. As it was to turn out shortly thereafter, the reason for the punishment was the rating that the affected players gave to a particular review.

Unfortunate review

The source of the trouble turned out to be a review by user FREEDOMS117. This player shared his opinion about the game Warlander. The free online TPP game was met with a negative review by FREEDOMS117, the main reason for which, according to the author of the review, was supposed to be the suspicious activity displayed by the anti-cheat system implemented in the game.

  1. According to FREEDOMS117 the Sentry Anti-Cheat remained active even when the game itself was not running.
  2. The author of the negative review also claimed that the program was sending suspicious data packets from the user's computer in an unknown direction.
  3. Concerned by his discovery, the user decided to share a short tutorial with the rest of the community to help bewildered gamers remove the suspicious software from their PCs.

The review containing the instructions quickly gained popularity among users, earning 2439 thumbs up on Steam. However, shortly thereafter, in a rather puzzling twist, it was removed from the platform, and temporary restrictions were imposed on the author of the text and those who reviewed the text positively.

According to the moderator who decided to remove the review, the FREEDOMS117's post conflicted with the guidelines and terms of use of Steam.

Happy ending

Although quite unusual, the whole situation has reached a happy ending. In response to the appeal of FREEDOMS117, Steam support withdrew the controversial penalty for both the author and readers of the review. In an explanation, representatives of the platform explain the misunderstanding by human error:

"Our moderators are on the lookout for content that describes how to cheat or manipulate anti-cheat systems. These contradict our guidelines, and it appears that our moderation team misjudged the matter, leading to the blocking of the review. I agree with your assessment that this review does not meet these criteria."

In addition, Steam has suggested that the previous instructions for removing suspicious software be rewritten to text form in the Steam Guidance section of the review..

  1. It also noted that the new entry should include a warning about the potential dangers of manipulating the operating system registry.
  2. Valve employees also announced that they will contact the developer of Warlander to explain the suspicious behavior of the anti-cheat system.
  3. The game's publisher, Plaion, did not remain deaf to the matter, issuing an official statement with its own instructions for removing the suspicious program.

Punishment for reviewers?

The case of FREEDOMS117's review has reached a positive resolution. Representatives of Valve were able to quickly identify the wrongly imposed penalty, as well as offer a satisfactory solution that helped to identify the problem of suspicious activity of the anti-cheat system.

However, the validity of the penalty imposed on users who positively reviewed the unlucky entry remains in question. While the point of systems controlling the review section is rather unquestionable, an argument could be made that the temporary penalty imposed on users who only rated the text was too harsh.

  1. Warlander - official website
  2. Warlander on Steam

Adam Celarek

Adam Celarek

He has been interested in video games since an early age. He graduated film studies and new media, and defended his thesis on ludology. He started working at Gamepressure in early 2023. He is primarily a guide writer. Enthusiast of RPGs, unconventional indie games and competitive e-sports titles (mainly brawlers and MOBAs). In addition to games, he's also interested in table-top role-playing games and collectible card games. A fan of old-school technology and retro style!




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