Steam's new chat word filter lets users avoid offensive language

Valve has announced that users now have access to a beta feature that enables them to filter unwanted words from chat, preventing conversations from being derailed. The feature is available now through Steam Labs and involves the chat filtering technology the company made for its most popular games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2.

Users are given the ability to filter out the most commonly used profanities from Steam chat; there's also the ability to build a personal filter list of words tailored to each user's own sensibilities. Users can, for example, download existing third-party lists of slurs and other offensive language and add them to one's own chat filter list to avoid that particular language.

Of course, users aren't required to filter their chat language — you can ignore the feature and allow all content through if you wish. Users interested in using it, however, will need to head into the Steam Labs experiment in Account Settings to join it, after which point they can enable chat word filters.

Steam says the new feature is 'consistent' across the mobile, desktop, and web versions of Steam chat, as well as supporting games. Users can provide feedback on the feature during the beta period to potentially help influence the outcome of the final feature.

In a post talking about the feature on its Community website, Valve says that users will see symbols in the place of letters in the case of words that have been filtered in chat. There is the potential that chat may not catch all words that may need to be filtered, Steam notes, so users will have to manually add any words to the filter that they see and find offensive.