Steam is often a free-for-all when it comes to game curation and content moderation, but the Valve-owned storefront appears to be on the march against spam commenters, especially those pestering other users about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skin trades. A number of players have recently said they’ve recently been locked out of their accounts at one time or another for commenting on trades, including one user with over $500,000 worth of CS:GO skins.
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“This popped up a few minutes after commenting on a guy’s profile something like ‘I bought your m9 on gamerpay, your trade link is broken, please fix,’” Gergely “GeRy” Szabo tweeted on April 10 (via DualShockers). A software developer who used to make YouTube videos about his high-stakes CS:GO skin-trading escapades, Szabo’s tweet showed a screenshotted message from Steam support informing him his account had been locked for “posting and upvoting suspicious content on Steam.”
In addition to losing Steam functionality, including the ability to make further skin trades or changes to his account, the message also said access wouldn’t be restored until Steam support reached back out. Other users replied to his tweet saying they’d also been caught up in Valve’s anti-spam dragnet recently, with the temp bans usually lasting just a day or two. Over 24 hours later, Szabo told Kotaku he still hasn’t heard back from Steam.
“The worst part is not being able to deliver to people who already paid for their items that became tradable this morning,” he said. “Some might wait a few days, some already want refunds.”
Valve didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
While there are thriving third-party marketplaces for CS:GO skin trading, with certain unusual skins occasionally going for hundreds of thousands of dollars, collectors often ping one another directly on Steam profile pages to facilitate trades or simply send the other a reminder to complete a transaction. Of course, there are also plenty of spam accounts that do the same thing, soliciting trades en masse and filling up profile pages with junk.
It’s not clear how recent Valve’s apparent new crackdown on these types of comments are, but CS:GO trading has seen a ton of growth ever since Counter-Strike 3 was announced. Valve confirmed that existing CS:GO skins will all carry over to the sequel, leading to a massive surge in skin-trading activity last month. Having your Steam account locked down can be a hassle, but it can also be costly as prices shift if you’re a trader stuck on the sidelines. It’s also a reminder that lax standards aside, Valve hasn’t completely given up on platform moderation.