Steam punished users for marking negative reviews as helpful

Steam punished users for marking negative reviews as helpful spy looking shocked

Have you ever upvoted a review on Steam? Well, we are pretty sure you have. But what if that apparently innocent behaviour ended up earning you an account restriction? That's what apparently happened with a negative review of Warlander, a free-to-play MMO multiplayer game.

Warlander is a hack'n'slash title featuring competitive skirmishes and castle siege warfare, with up to 100 players. Like many games of its genre, it features an anti-cheat system, in particular the title by Toylogic comes with the Sentry Anti-Cheat. One that many players don't seem too fond of.

User FREEDOMS117 in particular had decided to voice their negative opinion of the system in a review, calling it "suspicious" since it - apparently - sent data even when the game was closed. The user, then, went on to explain a system to uninstall it completely in order to play the game without it.

Their review was later deleted and the user banned, but that was not all. Around 2239 people who had upvoted the review, later found out their accounts had been restricted for 30 days and they could not leave reviews or vote any ones left by others, according to Slashdot.

The company later revised its decision, removing the ban on the original reviewer's account as well as the others. Apparently a moderator had censored the original review, thinking it was potentially dangerous to other users, thus the decision to remove it altogether.

Steam also said to the user "the mod identified this review as potentially dangerous to other players, due to some of the steps requiring registry edits. This led to the additional lock that was placed on your account and voter accounts. I can see that your review does not contain phishing links, attempts to scam or deceive players, or anything else that warrants a lock."

While all Steam users are aware that posting reviews containing misleading, false or dangerous information may - sensibly - lead to a lock or ban on their account, this is the first time we've heard of upvoters being punished for simply clicking on that small arrow.

Next time you find a review with a funny meme or rude ASCII art better be careful of that up arrow. And don't even think of awarding it that "funny" badge...

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