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More Than 2,000 Steam Accounts Restricted In Apparent Mistake, Now Resolved

More than 2,400 Steam users had their accounts restricted for marking a negative review as helpful in what appears to be a Steam Support mistake.

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Steam reviews can run the gamut from sharply written critiques to dumb one-liners, but generally only useful or funny ones rise to the top of well-known games. While you probably wouldn't expect to have your account restricted for upvoting a review, that's exactly what happened to 2,400 Steam users earlier this year.

As first recounted on Slashdot, user FREEDOMS117 published a review for the free-to-play multiplayer game Warlander that showed how to remove the game's Sentry Anti-Cheat, which required several changes to your PC's registry. The reviewer opined that the software is "suspicious" and accusing it of running even when the game was closed. That review received 2,439 upvotes from fellow users.

However, when Valve removed that negative review for alleged violations of Steam's TOS, it also restricted the accounts of everyone who upvoted it, which prevented them from voting on reviews for 30 days. The original reviewer was unable to use any Steam Community features in that same time, including writing more reviews or posting on the forums, though they could still play games.

Now, it seems that the situation is resolved. FREEDOMS117 posted a response explaining the case on Steam's forums, stating that Steam Support agreed that the review was mischaracterized, and removed the restrictions on all users involved. Steam Support suggested that the reviewer rewrite the information as a Steam user guide, as it suits that format better. In response to the situation, Warlander studio Plaion published a support piece stating that Sentry Anti-Cheat does not continue to run in the background after the game is closed.

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